Search continues for 29 missing Taiwanese in South Pacific

November 21st, 2008 - 9:25 am ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Nov 21 (DPA) A Royal New Zealand Air Force plane resumed a search Friday for 29 missing Taiwanese fishermen after their burned-out boat was found floating in the South Pacific.Crew of the Orion maritime surveillance aircraft found no trace of the missing men, who are believed to have abandoned their vessel on three life rafts, despite 12 hours of searching waters around Fiji Thursday, a defence force spokesman said.

The low-level search resumed after the crew rested overnight in Samoa and the spokesman said it would continue at least until Saturday.

New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre was alerted after a Korean fishing boat found the Taiwanese long liner floating but with no one on board.

“A subsequent search of the vessel showed the three life rafts and a rescue boat were missing and it is hoped that the 29 crew abandoned ship in the life rafts,” the spokesman said.

He said nothing had been heard from the Taiwanese ship since Oct 28.

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