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22 Chinese seamen on Panama freighter missing for 9 days in seawater off Taiwan
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07:40, August 18, 2009

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Rescuers continued the search on Monday for the 22 seamen on a Panama-registered freighter who had been missing for nine days in the waters off Taiwan following typhoon Morakot.

Authorities in the eastern Qingdao City received a fax last Friday from the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), confirming the freighter "Changying" had sunk and the seamen were missing, Cui Jingbo, deputy head of Qingdao City Administration for Port and Shipping Business, told a press conference Monday.

The ARATS also transmitted a letter from the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to the Qingdao administration, he said.

The freighter was caught by typhoon Morakot on Aug. 8 in the southeast of Taiwan. The seamen employed by the Qingdao-based Datong International Shipping Management Company Ltd. could not be reached since then, Cui said.

The company reported the shipwreck to the Qingdao City Administration, which immediately responded to the accident. Relatives of the seamen were also informed of the accident.

The Taiwan rescue team mobilized rescue operations in time after receiving the report from the mainland, said Zhao Junqing, an official with Shandong Provincial Maritime Safety Administration.

Source: Xinhua

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