Fishing boats collide in waters north of Taiwan; skipper missing

Taipei-Two local fishing boats collided with each other in waters close to Huaping Island off northern Taiwan early Tuesday morning, causing one boat to flip over and its skipper to go missing after falling into the water.

The collision occurred at around 4 a.m. in waters about seven nautical miles west-northwest of the islet where the two Keelung-registered fishing boats, "Li Fa No. 1 (????)" and "Hsin Ling Po 16 (???16)," were operating, according to the Keelung Offshore Flotilla under the Coast Guard Administration.

The two boats did not seem to notice that the distance between them was narrowing before the accident occurred, leading to a powerful collision that caused the Li Fa to flip over, the flotilla said.

All six of those on board the Li Fa -- including one Indonesian and four Chinese workers -- were thrown into the water, but while the five workers were rescued by the Hsin Ling Po, the Li Fa's skipper, 54-year-old Lin Chih-nan (???), went missing, Coast Guard officers said.

An airborne service helicopter, Coast Guard and Navy vessels, and fishing boats operating in nearby waters have all been mobilized to search for Lin, according to the Coast Guard.

The rescued crew members have been taken back to Keelung's Badouzi fishing port. One of them, 44-year-old Chinese national Ling Xingchun (???), suffered scratches on his left forehead during the accident and was taken to Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel