A Taiwanese fishing vessel vanished in the remote South Atlantic Ocean. There were 49 people on board the ship.
The vessel reported taking on water, back on the 26th of February, but no Mayday call has been received as of yet.
The Hsiang Fu Chun, a 700-ton 28-year-oold squid fishing ship, had a Taiwanese master along with 11 Chinese, 21 Indonesian and two Vietnamese seafarers on board at the time of its disappearance. It was sailing approximately 3,100km off the Falkland Islands.
Falkland Island officials commented that the ship lost all contact with its owners shortly after having reported that it was taking on water. Taiwan has initiated a search operation and has requested for help from both Argentina and Britain along with other vessels that are in the area.
A Taiwan Fisheries Agency spokesperson, Huang Hong-yen, stated that there was no evidence pointing towards the potential sinking of the boat. The vessel had a special system installed that would automatically send out a Mayday signal when placed under a particular water pressure. However, no such signal was issued he further added.
Due to the are being fairly remote, six days are going to be required for a boat and 11 hours for a plane respectively to fly to the location and back again in good weather.
Several Taiwanese media sources have voiced their speculations that the ship could have lost power and currently be adrift, or even that it may have been hijacked by its own crew members.
The South Atlantic Ocean is Taiwan’s traditional fishing ground and manages to attract roughly 100 Taiwanese squid boats per year.