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 21 RI crew aboard ship missing in remote seas

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BerichtOnderwerp: 21 RI crew aboard ship missing in remote seas    di 10 maa 2015 - 22:29

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Tue, March 10 2015,

The Foreign Ministry has assigned a team to follow up reports that 21 Indonesian nationals are among the 49 crew members of a Taiwanese-flagged trawler that recently vanished in a remote part of the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Hsiang Fu Chun, a 700-ton squid-fishing boat lost contact soon after reporting that it was taking on water in the morning of Feb. 26 in the waters off the British dependency of the Falkland Islands near Argentina.

“We’ve dispatched a team to obtain information about the fate of the 21 Indonesians on the ship,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

“A request has also been forwarded to all Taiwanese vessels employing Indonesian crews to provide any information related to the whereabouts of the ship as well as the condition of their crews,” she said.

Retno also said that Indonesian representatives in Taiwan were coordinating with local authorities in the matter.

The Indonesian government was told that bad weather had hampered the search-and-rescue efforts, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Armanatha Nasir.

Full details of the incident have yet to emerge, but so far there are no reports of evidence that the ship had sunk after it vanished while sailing about 1,700 nautical miles off the Falklands.

Representatives of the Taiwanese authorities in Jakarta could not be reached for further details.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Taiwan’s foreign ministry had been helping in the search for the missing boat since last week with the assistance of the authorities in Argentina and the UK.

Some sources in Taiwanese media have speculated that the vessel might have lost power and was adrift, or that it could have been hijacked by its crew. However, there has been no official response to such speculation.

Aside from the Indonesian crew members, the boat has a Taiwanese skipper and chief engineer; as well as 11 Chinese; 13 Filipino and two Vietnamese sailors.

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