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Hijacking suspected as Taiwanese fishing boat fails to respond
Central News Agency
2014-06-19 10:16 PM
Taipei, June 19 (CNA) The Taiwanese owner of an Indonesia-bound deep-sea fishing vessel said Thursday that he has been unable to get in touch with its skipper since earlier in the day and fears it may have been hijacked by its crew. Lin Chin-hsi, the owner of the fishing boat registered in Donggang, Pingtung County, told a local fishery radio service at 4 p.m. that he placed a satellite phone call to skipper Chen Chi-wen, but nobody answered even though the call connected. Lin contacted the skippers of other fishing ships in the nearby waters, all of whom said they have not been in contact with Chen for several days. As of noon, the vessel was located at 0.19 degrees south, 135.12 degrees east and was rapidly moving toward Indonesia, the Radio Station reported , citing data from the Deep Sea Fishery Research and Development Center. By 7 p.m., the boat was still trackable, but nobody was picking up the satellite phone, causing him to fear that the vessel may have been overtaken by its Indonesian crew members. The boat had 12 Indonesian crew members in addition to Chen, according to Lin. The Fishery Administration of the Council of Agriculture said that it cannot confirm whether the fishing boat has been hijacked, but it said it will help find the vessel's whereabouts through various channels. The Fishery Administration said it has issued a notification to nearby ships to help look for the fishing boat and has sought help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Rescue Command Center to contact and request assistance from authorities in Indonesia and other neighboring countries. (By Kuo Chu-chen, Wu Ching-chun and Evelyn Kao)
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