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Two Die in Research Ship Capsizing off Taiwan

By MarEx 2014-10-10 15:50:00

Two people were pronounced dead after a research vessel sank off the coast of Taiwan's outlying islands of Penghu; 43 others were rescued. One was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, and the other died after doctors were unable to keep him alive. The two were researchers.

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA) believes the RV Ocean Researcher 5 may have run into a reef when it was sailing off Lungmen, Penghu on Friday afternoon.

The 45 people on board were stranded after the ship tilted toward one side and began to take on water. It sank that night, just past 8 p.m. Many of the passengers managed to use life rafts to row to safety. Four Navy frigates, four Air Force helicopters and a transport plane rushed to the scene of the accident not long after the research ship started sinking to assist in the rescue.

Those aboard included researchers from Academia Sinica, the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute under the National Applied Research Laboratories, and graduate students from National Taiwan Ocean University, National Yang Ming University, Yunlin University of Science and Technology and National Chengkung University.

The ship departed from Tainan's Anping Harbor on Thursday and was scheduled to return on October 16. The eight-day mission was aimed at learning about the pollutants in the atmosphere and how they move through the air, reported the Focus Taiwan News Channel. 

The 2,700-ton Taiwan-built research ship belongs to the Ministry of Science and Technology's National Applied Research Laboratories.