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HOSCO ship rescues Filipino fishermen

HOSCO ship rescues Filipino fishermen

Hong Kong: HOSCO has contacted Seatrade Asia Online with news of a dramatic rescue at sea. MV Hebei Courage, flying Hong Kong SAR flag under the management of Hebei Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (HOSCO Group), successfully saved five of the six Philippine fishermen who had drifted for 13 days at sea to the east of Zhong Sha Island on Wednesday morning.
HOSCO Group has reported the rescue action to China Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center and Mr.Xu Zhuyuan, Vice Minister of Ministry of Communications and Transport, requested MV Hebei Courage to continue searching the one missing fisherman.
According to HOSCO Group, the third officer of MV Hebei Courage, while on watch at 0935 on 20 May 2009, noticed a drifting object, and after using telescope, he found that somebody on the drifting raft was asking for help. MV Hebei Courage immediately changed her course to the drifting raft. Meantime the master made a broadcast requesting all crew on board to get together on main deck as soon as possible and get ready to save the people on the raft. The starboard lifeboat was at stand-by on boat deck, and the starboard pilot ladder was set down with another rope ladder. When the Hebei Courage was approaching the drifting raft by about 50 to 60 meters, she found that there were 6 fishermen on the drifting raft.
Seeing the big vessel coming, the six fishermen plunged into the sea one after another and swam hard to MV Hebei Courage. At last, all of them caught hold of the pilot ladder and rope ladder already set for them. MV Hebei Courage set down another three life buoys for them at once, and then put down the life boat. Some of the distressed fishermen grasped the ladders, and some clasped the life buoys. Unfortunately, one of them loosened his grip of the life buoy and disappeared back into the ocean due to his poor physical fragility.
Crew members of MV Hebei Courage navigated life boat looking for the missing person, but to no avail.
According to the rescued fishermen, they are Filipinos and their boat MV 4 SISTER FISHING BOAT sunk during the heavy weather on 7th May. The fishermen drifted for help on a raft made from the wreckage of the sunken boat. There were a total of eight fishermen on the fishing boat, but unfortunately two of them died during the 13 days' drifting.
  [22/05/09]

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