Kinmen: Taiwan Joins China Rescue Mission After Boat Capsizes

Taiwan and China went on a joint search-and-rescue mission following the capsizing of a Chinese fishing vessel near the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands. The fishing boat identified as Min Long Yu 61222, sank around 2:58 a.m. local time southwest of Dongding Island, part of Taiwan-controlled Kinmen County. The vessel carried six crew members, resulting in the deaths of two individuals with two still missing.

Kinmen: Taiwan Joins China Rescue Mission After Boat Capsizes

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The fishing vessel identified as Min Long Yu 61222, sank around 2:58 a.m. in waters southwest of Dongding Island, part of Taiwan-controlled Kinmen County.

Six crew members were aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Taiwanese coast guard received a distress call around 6 a.m. and dispatched four patrol vessels to aid in the rescue efforts.

Chinese authorities sought assistance from Taiwan’s coast guard a rare instance of cooperation between the two sides.

Taiwan contributed four coast guard vessels, while China deployed six rescue ships, including helicopters and patrol vessels.

The joint operation focused on searching a radius of 37.4 kilometers (20 nautical miles) from the site of the capsizing.

As of now, two crew members have been rescued, two bodies have been recovered, and two remain missing.

The incident comes when tensions in the region as China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which opposes such claims.

Cross-Strait tensions escalated last month when a similar incident occurred near the Kinmen islands, resulting in the death of two Chinese fishermen during a confrontation with Taiwanese coast guard.

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Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council Minister, Kuan Bi-ling, has expressed regret over the Coast Guard’s handling of the previous fatal boat chase, acknowledging shortcomings in evidence collection.

Investigations into the February incident are ongoing with authorities pledging to take appropriate legal measures once the inquiry is complete.

Taiwan reported a uptick in Chinese military activities around its airspace, with 26 aircraft and ten naval vessels tracked near the island.

Eighteen of the aircraft entered Taiwan’s de-facto air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the largest single-day total of ADIZ violations since November. Chinese authorities sought assistance from Taiwan’s coast guard, triggering a joint rescue operation.

Both sides mobilized resources, with Taiwan dispatching four coast guard vessels and China deploying six rescue ships, including helicopters, sea rescue vessels, and patrol ships. This coordinated effort show the importance of cross-strait cooperation in maritime emergencies.

The waters surrounding the Kinmen islands have been a point of tension between Taiwan and China. Incidents such as this existing strains particularly following a similar event last month, where two Chinese nationals lost their lives in a confrontation with Taiwan’s coast guard.

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