China to Strengthen Maritime Rescue Services

Three new departments are to be spun off from China's existing marine salvage bureaus to strengthen the country's emergency rescue capability at sea.

Under a plan to reform the Ministry of Communications, some personnel and assets will be separated from the Yantai, Shanghai and Guangzhou Marine Salvage Bureaus to constitute another three bureaus specializing in life saving and emergency assistance.

The new departments, namely the North China Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea Rescue bureaus, will provide round-the-clock services in all weathers.

Special air squads will also be established to cooperate with the maritime rescue force on emergency detection and rescue.

Meanwhile, the duties of the original three will be confined tothe salvage of sunken boats, freight and the elimination of barriers in water courses and sea ports.

Established in 1951, China's marine salvage bureaus have succeeded in many important tasks over the past five decades.

The plan was publicized at a work conference held in Shanghai by the Ministry of Communications, but no detailed timetable or budget were disclosed.



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