Search continues for 74 missing in boat sinking

 

Zhang Jie, deputy chief of the Hainan Maritime Bureau, speaks to journalists in Haikou, capital

of south China’s Hainan Province, on Monday of September 30, 2013. A total of 74 people 

are confirmed missing after three fishing boats sank Sunday afternoon in a typhoon in the

South China Sea, maritime authorities said on Monday.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Staff members work at the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center in Haikou, capital of

south China’s Hainan Province, on September 30, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan  

 

 

 

 

Search continues for

74 missing in boat sinking

 

By Cao Kai, Shi Shouhe, Wang Huiyu, Xia Guannan,

Zhao Yingquan, Guo Xinfeng and Zhao Yeping

 

Search is ongoing in the South China Sea amid strong gales for 74 people missing after three fishing boats have sunk since Sunday afternoon of September 29 due to the Typhoon Wutip, the 21st of the season.

The boats, all from south China’s Guangdong Province with 88 fishermen aboard, were lost on Sunday afternoon near Shanhu Island of the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China’s island province of Hainan, sources with the Hainan maritime search and rescue center said.

As of Monday noon, rescuers had retrieved 14 survivors, the sources said.

Four injured fishermen taking refuge at Chenhang Island were sent to Sansha Municipal People’s Hospital for treatment via helicopter on Monday afternoon.

“Strong gales will continue to hit the region, which will cause big trouble for the rescue,” said Wang Qingyan, an official with the Hainan provincial marine forecast center.

Waves as high as four meters were monitored on Monday morning in the Xisha Islands, which hampered the rescue efforts of ships and helicopters, said Wang.

“Rescue ships that cannot resist strong gales cannot go to sea,” said Wang. “Big waves prevent rescue ships from approaching and pose great risks for the ships.”

The Chinese Navy’s Nanhai Fleet has sent 7 warships, a helicopter and ten rescue teams to search the waters around the scene of the accident. Currently, a total of 277 fishermen trapped in the typhoon have been sheltered by the army at Chenhang Island as of Monday evening.

Two helicopters from Hong Kong also took part in the rescue but had yet to find any survivors, according to the Hong Kong Government Flying Services on Monday afternoon.

Altogether five fishing boats with a total of 171 people aboard were caught in Typhoon Wutip, according to the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Four ships were confirmed to be from Taishan City, under the administration of Jiangmen City in Guangdong Province. The other ship was from Hong Kong, according to the Jiangmen municipal government and the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Two ships, the “Yuetaiyu 62116″ and the “62150,” sank at about 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, according to a statement from the Jiangmen municipal government.

The third ship, “Yuetaiyu 62108,” sank at 9:20 a.m. on Monday. One fisherman on board the ship swam to Yagong Island and reported the accident. The other 27 people aboard the ship are still missing, according to a Guangdong provincial emergency response office statement on Monday afternoon.

The fourth ship, “Yuetaiyu 61008,” had lost power but was operational again at 11:30 a.m. on Monday and is heading to the scene of the accident for rescue, according to the statement.

Fishermen on the Hong Kong ship were safe, according to the Hainan maritime search and rescue center.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged local authorities to do their utmost to find the missing or stranded and minimize casualties.

Xi also ordered the armed forces and central government departments to help in the rescue.

Premier Li Keqiang asked local authorities to ensure the safety of rescue personnel.

Efforts should be made to investigate potential safety risks brought by Wutip, relocate personnel threatened by the typhoon, and help fishing boats return to harbors safely, Li said.

As of Monday noon, 52 ships had been sheltered in waters close to the islands of Chenhang and Shanhu. Affected fishermen were taken care of by soldiers stationed at Xisha Islands.

An aircraft was sent by the Ministry of Transport at 10:39 a.m. for the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, the government of Sansha City had mobilized 350 local island residents and soldiers as well as nearby ships to participate in the search and rescue efforts.

The Hainan provincial government has dispatched six planes and 10 ships to the site of the accident. Three planes and two ships arrived at the scene by Monday noon.

China’s maritime authority on Sunday upgraded its wave warning from yellow to orange, the second-highest of a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, as the typhoon approached land.

The National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center warned of storm tides from Sunday to Monday in Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi.

Wutip is expected to make landfall on Vietnam’s central coast on Tuesday of October 1.

 

TYPHOON UNDERESTIMATED

 

Chen Songyin, captain of the Yuetaiyu 61008, told Xinhua by phone on Monday evening that the fishermen should have chosen Chenhang Island for shelter instead of Shanhu Island.

“Chenhang Island is the best place to avoid gales in the Xisha Islands, but there were too many fishing boats there,” said Chen, who is currently at Chenhang Island.

According to Chen’s experience, Shanhu Island would be able to withstand a moderate typhoon, but Typhoon Wutip was too strong.

“It was too late to leave at that time,” he said.

Waves were as big as tornadoes at about 2 p.m. on Sunday and visibility was less than 10 meters. A TV antenna and a satellite telephone on the ship were both destroyed by the typhoon, he said.

Three fishing boats sank one after another. Chen organized staff on the other two boats to rescue fishermen who had fallen into the water.

They were able to save ten people, and soldiers at Shanhu Island saved another three.

Fishermen underestimated the impact of the typhoon, which contributed to the accident, according to sources with the government of Sansha City.

The fishermen had already received typhoon warnings since Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats.

“Fishing authorities had issued warnings to those ships through the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, but the fishermen underestimated the typhoon,” said Yang Jingye, deputy head of the Taishan municipal marine and fishing bureau.

Although the fishing boats had dropped their anchors, the gales were too fierce and overturned the ships, said Yang.

The only sound harbor in the area for avoiding strong gales is Chenhang Island, but ships there were also damaged or stranded, showing the power of the typhoon, said Fu Lashuai, head of the fishing affairs administration station of Qionghai City, a coastal city in Hainan Province.

“Fishing boats from other provinces may not be familiar with the waters around Xisha Islands,” said Fu.

 

 

 

A helicopter prepares to fly to carry out rescue operations in the South China Sea, south

China’s Hainan Province, on September 30, 2013.   Photo by Wei Taoze 

 

A helicopter flies over the Yongxing Island to carry out rescue operations in the South

China Sea on September 30, 2013.    Photo by Wei Taoze

 

 

 

 

President Xi urges

all-out rescue effort

 

By Guo Likun

 

President Xi Jinping has demanded an all-out rescue effort after Typhoon Wutip sank fishing boats near the Xisha Islands on Sunday, leaving 74 people missing.

In a special instruction given after the incident, Xi urged local authorities to do their utmost to find the missing or stranded and minimize casualties.

Xi also ordered the armed forces and central government departments to help in the rescue.

Premier Li Keqiang made similar call in a separate instruction. He also asked local authorities to ensure the safety of rescue personnel.

Efforts should be made to investigate potential safety risks brought by Wutip, relocate personnel threatened by the typhoon, and help fishing boats return to the harbor safely, Li said.

A total of 74 people have been confirmed missing after three fishing boats sunk in the typhoon, according to the Hainan maritime search and rescue center.

Altogether five fishing boats, all from south China’s Guangdong Province with a total of 171 people aboard, were caught by Typhoon Wutip.

The boats were lost on Sunday afternoon as they attempted to navigate gales near the Xisha Islands. As of Monday noon, rescuers had found 14 survivors, the sources said.

 

 

 

An injured fisherman receives treatment at Sansha municipal people’s hospital in Sansha City,

south China’s Hainan Province, on September 30, 2013.   Photos by Wei Taoze

 

 

Updated !!!

 

A wounded fisherman is carried out from a helicopter upon his arrival in Sanya, south

China’s Island of Hainan Province, on Monday of September 30, 2013. Five fishermen

were transferred to Sanya on Monday by helicopters after they were saved from boats

sinking in the Xisha Islands. Search is ongoing in the South China Sea amid strong gales

for 74 people missing after three fishing boats have sunk since Sunday afternoon due to

the Typhoon Wutip.    Photo by Zhang Yongfeng

 

 

A wounded fisherman arrives in Sanya, south China’s Island of Hainan Province,

on September 30, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng

 

A wounded fisherman receives treatment in a hospital in Sanya, south China’s Island

of Hainan Province, on September 30, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng

 

A wounded fisherman receives B-ultrasonography examination in a hospital

in Sanya, south China’s Island of Hainan Province, on September 30, 2013.  

Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on October 1, 2013

 

 

Marine police vessel 3103 searches for survivors of sinking ships in the South China Sea,

on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

A helicopter from China Rescue is ready to search for survivors of sinking ships, south

China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

Two fishermen from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″ wait to be rescued in south

China’s Hainan Province, on Tuesday of October 1, 2013. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday,

rescuers had retrieved 14 survivors. Two fishermen were confirmed dead while 58

others are still missing. Search is ongoing for 74 people missing in the South China Sea

amid strong gales after three fishing boats have sunk since Sunday afternoon due to

the Typhoon Wutip.    Photos by Zhao Yingquan 

 

A rescuers gets prepared to save two fishermen from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″

in south China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

Two fishermen are saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″ in south China’s Hainan

Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

Two fishermen are saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″ in south China’s Hainan

Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

 

Rescuers talk with two fishermen after they were saved from the sinking ship

“Yuetaiyu 62116″ in south China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.  

Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

Fisherman Gong Zhimei (right) receives medical treatment during the transfer to the

Yongxing Island by helicopter after he was saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″,

south China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan  

 

Fisherman Huang Jianghui (right) receives medical treatment during the transfer to the

Yongxing Island by helicopter after he was saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″,

south China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan  

 

Two fishermen are transferred to the Yongxing Island by helicopter after they were saved

from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″, south China’s Hainan Province, on Tuesday of

October 1, 2013.   Photo by Yang Weiwei 

 

Fishermen receive medical treatment during the transfer to the Yongxing Island

by helicopter after they were saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″, south

China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Yang Weiwei 

 

Two fishermen are transferred to the Yongxing Island by helicopter after they were

saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″, south China’s Hainan Province,

on October 1, 2013.    Photo by Yang Weiwei 

 

Fishermen receive medical treatment during the transfer to the Yongxing Island

by helicopter after they were saved from the sinking ship “Yuetaiyu 62116″, south

China’s Hainan Province, on October 1, 2013.   Photo by Yang Weiwei

 

 

 

14 fishermen rescued,

2 dead, 58 missing

after Typhoon Wutip

 

By Fang Ning, Zhao Ying, Gao Yi and Wu Dengfeng

 

Rescuers on Tuesday of October 1 rescued 14 fishermen, retrieved two bodies and are continuing their search for 58 others missing in the South China Sea after Typhoon Wutip has sunk three fishing boats since Sunday afternoon.

A total of 88 fishermen and their boats, all from south China’s Guangdong Province, went missing near Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China’s island province of Hainan.

Fourteen survivors were rescued Monday.

Zhang Jie, a spokesman with the Hainan Maritime Affairs Bureau, said on Tuesday that 22 vessels and four airplanes are still combing the sea for more survivors.

Huang Honghui and Gong Zhimei were among the 14 rescued on Tuesday. The two were drifting amid big waves in a life raft when they were spotted by rescuers on a helicopter at 11:47 a.m.

Lifeguard Li Haitao landed on their raft via a rescue sling from the helicopter and helped airlift the survivors to safety.

Huang later told rescuers that their raft began to leak after drifting at sea for two days and nights.

The two survivors only suffered soft tissue injuries. They were offered biscuits and mineral water on the rescue helicopter.

Altogether five fishing boats, including the three that sunk, with a total of 171 people aboard were caught in Typhoon Wutip on Sunday, according to the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

The fishermen had received typhoon warnings starting on Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats.

Wutip gathered power, becoming a super typhoon when it swept across nearby waters on Sunday, packing winds of up to 151.2 km per hour at its eye.

Strong gales and waves have hampered the rescue work, but the sea water temperature in the area is over 20 degrees Celsius, which means a higher chance of survival two days after shipwreck, according to rescuers.

On Tuesday, the Chinese navy added another three warships to the rescue work efforts. So far, seven navy warships have joined the search mission, bringing infrared and radar search equipment as well as more manpower to aid the rescue work.

Meanwhile, the navy barracks on Chenhang Island have provided temporary shelter and food to 319 fishermen trapped by the typhoon.

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on October 2, 2013 

 

 

Members from the Sansha government offer food supplies for rescue team in south China’s

Hainan Province, on October 2, 2013. Search is ongoing for 58 people missing in the South

China Sea amid strong gales after three fishing boats have sunk since Sunday afternoon due

to the Typhoon Wutip.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan  

 

A rescue vessel takes boats belonged to the missing fishermen to Yongxing Island, south

China’s Hainan Province, on October 2, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

A rescue ship takes boats belonged to the missing fishermen to Yongxing Island, south China’s

Hainan Province, on October 2, 2013.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan 

 

 

 

58 fishermen remain missing

after Typhoon Wutip

 

By Hu Tao, Ren Ke, Wu Tao and Zhou Huimin

 

Rescue work continued on Wednesday of October 2 as 58 fishermen remain missing in the South China Sea after three fishing boats sank due to Typhoon Wutip on Sunday afternoon of September 29.

Authorities are checking and confirming the list of missing people, said public security and civil affairs authorities in Taishan City in south China’s Guangdong Province, where the boats were registered.

A total of 88 fishermen and their five boats, all from Guangdong, went missing near Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China’s island province of Hainan.

Three boats are confirmed to have sunk, and four fishermen have been confirmed dead.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, rescuers had saved 12 fishermen and temporarily sheltered them on Yongqing Island off the coast of Hainan.

Zhang Jie, a spokesman with the Hainan Maritime Affairs Bureau, said on Tuesday that a total of 37 vessels and 10 airplanes are searching the waters for more survivors.

The fishermen had received typhoon warnings starting on Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats.

Wutip gained power, growing into a super typhoon as it swept across nearby waters on Sunday and packed winds of up to 151.2 km per hour at its eye.

Meanwhile, the navy barracks on Chenhang Island have provided temporary shelter and food to 268 fishermen trapped by the typhoon.

The hospital ship “Ark of Peace,” which was scheduled to return to port following a mission, changed course and is now rushing to the South China Sea to join the search and rescue work.

Staff aboard the hospital ship have prepared blankets, ventilators and other emergency equipment and have readied temporary emergency medical units on board the ship for helicopter rescue work.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on October 3, 2013

 

 

Rescued fishermen arrive at a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province, on Thursday

of October 3, 2013. A total of 268 fishermen who were trapped by Typhoon Wutip in the

South China Sea arrived in Sanya Thursday morning after 15 hours of sail in navy vessels.

Rescue work continued on Thursday as 58 fishermen remained missing after three fishing

boats sank near the Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 kilometers from the

Hainan Island due to Typhoon Wutip on Sunday afternoon of September 29.   

Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

Rescued fishermen disembark after arriving at a naval port in Sanya on October 3, 2013.    

Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

An injured fisherman is transferred to a hospital after arriving at a naval port in Sanya

on October 3, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

A navy soldier helps a rescued fisherman disembark after arriving at a naval port in Sanya

on October 3, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

A navy soldier helps an injured fisherman disembark after arriving at a naval port in Sanya

on October 3, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

Navy soldiers help an injured fishermen disembark after arriving at a naval port in Sanya

on October 3, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

An injured fishermen is loaded into an ambulance after arriving at a naval port in Sanya

on October 3, 2013.   Photo by Zhang Yongfeng 

 

 

 

268 fishermen trapped

by Typhoon Wutip

arrive in Sanya

 

By Zhang Yi, Zheng Weina and Guo Xinfeng

 

A total of 268 fishermen who were trapped by Typhoon Wutip in the South China Sea have arrived in Sanya, Hainan Province on Thursday morning of October 3 after 15 hours sail in navy vessels, local authorities said.

Supply ships loaded with food, medicine and tents have arrived in Yongxing Island of Hainan’s Sansha City Thursday morning, said Sansha government.

Officials from Hainan and Guangdong Provinces as well as dozens of marine troops came to a navy harbor in Sanya to welcome the fishermen home.

“Home, finally,” said fisherman He Zongfa. “I can’t believe so many people care about us.”

Hainan Vice-Governor Li Guoliang said the government would try its best to find the 58 fishermen, who remain missing after three fishing boats sank near Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China’s island province of Hainan due to Typhoon Wutip on Sunday afternoon.

Chen Yiwu, another fishermen, said he had to stop fishing for a while as his boat was damaged. “But to make a living, I’ll will go someday,” Chen said.

According to Navy officer Jiang Jianzhong, to accommodate the fishermen, the crew on the navy ship could barely sleep more than four hours each night. “Many offered their beds to the fishermen and slept on couches themselves.”

The four bodies retrieved from the sea were also carefully conserved and brought back to Sanya.

Meanwhile, rescue work continued. According to rescuers, 11 navy warships, eight civilian ships and 10 aircraft kept searching the area where the boats were sunk.

Altogether five fishing boats, including the three that sunk, were caught in Typhoon Wutip on Sunday, according to the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

The fishermen had received typhoon warnings starting on Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats.

Wutip gathered power, becoming a super typhoon when it swept across nearby waters on Sunday, packing winds of up to 151.2 km per hour at its eye.

Strong gales and waves have hampered the rescue work, but the sea water temperature in the area is over 20 degrees Celsius, which means a higher chance of survival, according to rescuers.

 

 

 

 

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