Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) — Seven crew members remained missing Monday morning after a gravel ship ran aground off Keelung Harbor in northern Taiwan around midnight in stormy weather, according to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA). Three of the 14 other crew members from the Jui Hsing showed no signs of life when they were rescued, but the others were not seriously hurt, CGA officials said.
The missing crew members include the four Taiwanese nationals who were aboard the vessel, the officials said.
Eight of the crewmen are Myanmar citizens and nine are Indonesians, according to CGA information. The CGA has decided to send more large patrol ships to search for the seven missing sailors, since inclement weather has hindered airborne rescue efforts, the officials said. CGA Minister Wang Chin-wang went to Keelung early in the morning to coordinate the rescue operations. As of the press time, five CGA vessels had been dispatched for the rescue mission and some CGA personnel had also joined police and firefighters in the search of the missing crew members. According to CGA data, the 11,500-ton gravel ship set off from Keelung late Sunday for China to collect a cargo of gravel for transport back to Taiwan. The freighter ran aground in waters between Keelung and New Taipei City’s Wanli district shortly after leaving the port. The ship later broke into two pieces and all the crew members jumped into the rough waters, the CGA said. Some were airlifted by rescue helicopters while five others were picked up offshore. They were all taken to hospital for health checks and treatment, the CGA said. (By Claudia Liu, Johnson Sun and Sofia Wu)