Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) Taiwan is participating in the search and rescue mission to find 13 crew members of a Palau-registered general cargo ship that capsized in waters east of China’s Wenzhou on Wednesday morning, the National Rescue Command Center (NRCC) said.

The center received a report at 7:05 a.m. that a Palau-registered boat with 15 crew members (one Taiwanese and 14 Myanmarese) on board capsized in waters 190 nautical miles (352 kilometers) northeast of Songshan District in Taipei, the NRCC said in a statement.

Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Bureau was later notified that the boat went down in waters 150 nautical miles (278 km) north-northeast of Taiwan-held Pengjia Islet and about 167 km east of Wenzhou in the East China Sea.

According to the NRCC, two Myanmarese crew members were rescued by a South Korean fishing boat but the other 13 went missing, and the center coordinated with rescue units to dispatch a rescue helicopter and coastal patrol vessels to the scene to help with the search.

It also informed Japanese and Chinese rescue centers to help with the effort and asked radio stations along Taiwan’s northern coast to inform ships passing through the area to assist in rescue operations, the NRCC said.

A military rescue helicopter reached the targeted area at 9 a.m. but its search did not yield any immediate results, the NRCC said, adding that the mission is still underway.

The Air Combat Command has also dispatched a S-70C helicopter to the scene, according to the statement.

According to information obtained from the Taichung fishery radio station, the overturned vessel is a Palau-registered general cargo ship that departed from Taichung Port on Dec. 30 and was headed to Busan, South Korea, the NRCC said.

Meanwhile, the Maritime and Port Bureau said in a statement that it has assembled a maritime incident response team to keep abreast of the latest developments.

The ship capsized in an area where China is responsible for maritime rescues, but based on humanitarian grounds, the two sides of Taiwan Strait have both participated in the rescue operations, the bureau said.

The 2,216-ton ship departed Kaohsiung Port on Dec. 26 after unloading goods, stopped in Taichung Port on Dec. 28 to refuel, and left for Busan on Dec. 30, according to the bureau.

Source: https://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201901020008.aspx