Taipei, All three Taiwanese crew members who jumped into the Indian Ocean from a Pingtung-registered fishing boat earlier Thursday, following an on-board incident, have been rescued by another Taiwanese fishing vessel that went to their aid, the Fisheries Agency (FA) said.
According to the FA, the three Taiwanese crew members -- captain Chen Chen-mao chief engineer Kao Hsin-kuang and observer Yang Wen-pin who were hired by the tuna fishing vessel Wen Peng along with 10 Filipino and 11 Indonesian fishermen -- were rescued by the Shang Feng No 3. after it was informed of the incident Wednesday.
Chen's daughter confirmed her father has called home and is safe, according to the Liuchiuio Fishermen's Association (FA) in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County.
The FA said it received a report about the incident at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, when the Wen Peng was operating in the open sea about 1,582 nautical miles from Mauritius. It was informed that a Filipino fisherman had killed another Filipino worker and severely wounded a second, while the remaining crew members were forced to jump overboard later Wednesday and Thursday.
The FA later said that a total of two of the 24 crew were killed, while 15 who jumped overboard were rescued and six remain unaccounted for.
As the situation on board the vessel remains unclear, the FA said Taiwan will first seek to locate and rescue the missing crew members.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Rescue Command Center have tried to contact the Chagos Archipelago, located about 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of the Maldives Archipelago, the FA said.
The authorities there have been asked to help with a rescue mission, but no response has been received.
On Thursday morning, a Coast Guard Administration (CGA) vessel with more than 30 armed officers set off to the Wen Peng's last known coordinates to help with the rescue mission and arrest the alleged Filipino assailant.
Captain Huang Kuo-ang of the CGA ship said the Taiwanese fishing boat Hung Fu No. 88 is helping to monitor the Wen Peng, because it will take 13-15 days to reach the scene which is 3,756 nautical miles from Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the rescued crew members are currently on board the Shangfeng No.3 and Hungfu No. 88. -- both registered in Kaohsiung.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel