The Taiwanese longliner Dehai 66 was in danger of sinking in the Indian Ocean when the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Taiwan’s Tuna Association coordinated a rescue mission. SAMSA’s coordination center in Cape Town received a distress call from Taiwanese authorities about the sinking vessel, which was located about 320 nm away from the coast of Durban. The crew of the Dehai 66 also coordinated a rescue with their countrymen in Taiwan, who diverted another ship from their fleet, the Dehai No. 6, to assist. Additionally, Taiwan’s Tuna Association arranged for the Zanli No. 212 to divert and provide aid to the stricken vessel. The Golden Earl, a merchant ship, was also asked to divert and assist.
The Golden Earl arrived at the scene first, but the Dehai 66 had already sunk. The crew had successfully abandoned ship and were awaiting rescue in a life raft amidst 12-foot swells. However, the rough seas made it unsafe for the Golden Earl’s crew to carry out the rescue. The Zanli No. 212 and Dehai No. 6 arrived in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the Zanli successfully rescued the survivors. No injuries were reported, and the Golden Earl resumed its commercial voyage. Both fishing vessels planned to resume fishing after the rescue.
This incident highlights the coordination and teamwork between different rescue centers and vessels to ensure the safety of the crew in distress. Despite the challenging conditions, multiple ships were diverted to assist the sinking longliner, ultimately leading to the successful rescue of all crew members. The quick response and effective communication between SAMSA, Taiwan’s Tuna Association, and the crew of the Dehai 66 played a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of those involved.