Salvage and rescue teams across the Taiwan Straits will strengthen cooperation to deal with the increasing risk of accidents caused by the growing volume of traffic.
According to a letter of intent signed yesterday by the rescue and salvage committee of the China Institute of Navigation and the Taiwan-based Chinese Search and Rescue Association, the two agreed to draft an emergency response plan for maritime accidents in the Straits as soon as possible.
As these accidents call for immediate action, the two sides also agreed to strengthen communications and provide each other with the necessary assistance, Yin Liu-sheng, secretary-general of the Taiwan-based Chinese Search and Rescue Association, said.
Both sides will also set up a regular exchange mechanism, Yin said.
The Taiwan Straits has the second largest number of accidents each year, only after those occurring at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Ding Pingsheng, deputy director of the China Rescue and Salvage Bureau, said at a press conference at the fifth China International Rescue and Salvage Forum.
The two sides have cooperated in rescue missions at the nongovernment level in the past few years.
The China Rescue and Salvage Bureau's two centers in Xiamen and Fuzhou have both participated in rescue missions on the Taiwan side, he said.
Ding said the mainland plans to assign more powerful rescue vessels in the Straits.
China currently has 59 vessels, 11 aircraft, 18 emergency response teams and 21 centers involved in search and rescue work.
Source: China Daily