At least 11 missing in boat mishaps off Chinese coast

February 25th, 2008 - 10:23 pm ICT by admin  

Hangzhou (China), Feb 25 (Xinhua) Chinese maritime rescue service officials are searching for at least 11 seamen who have been missing off the east coast after two separate accidents over the weekend, sources with local maritime authorities said. Five crewmembers of a ship carrying sandstone from east China’s Fujian province to Rui’an city, in southeast Zhejiang, are missing off Zhejiang’s Wenzhou city, said Li Hua, deputy director of the Wenzhou Maritime Bureau.

Li said Rui’an Xinglong Boats Co Ltd, the owner of the vessel, reported its disappearance at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Donghai Sea Rescue Bureau under the ministry of communications has dispatched boats to search for the missing crew. Fishermen in the area and people living along the coast have also joined the search.

The accident was the second over the weekend following the disappearance of at least six fishermen after their vessel was reported missing off the coast of Jiangsu province.

Officials with the Zhejiang Provincial Ocean and Fisheries Bureau said earlier Monday that the boat was carrying ten crewmen, but later confirmed that at least six fishermen were aboard, although the exact number was yet to be determined.

Their boat, last located at 33 degrees north and 122 degrees east, had set out with seven other vessels and was believed to have sunk sometime in the 12 hours before 7:00 a.m. Sunday.

Officials said the sea was calm and believed that the boat might have been hit by a bigger vessel.

The Zhejiang Ocean and Fisheries Bureau called on 11 boats in the area to search for the missing fishermen. Maritime authorities in neighbouring Shanghai and Jiangsu are assisting the search.

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