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Gales, high waves strand 27 at Xisha Islands


08:52, January 09, 2013

SANSHA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Three crew members and 24 tourists have been stranded aboard a fishing boat at Xisha Islands, South China Sea, due to strong winds and high waves on the sea, local maritime authorities said on Wednesday.

China Yuzheng-306 ship has departed from the Qingland port, Wenchang city, for the rescue of the stranded people. A rescue ship sent by the Nanhai Rescue Bureau will also join the rescue efforts.

Zhang Jie, deputy head of Hainan Maritime Safety Administration, said that the Sanya city maritime salvage and rescue center received a report of the stranded people at 7 p.m. Tuesday. They were aboard the fishing boat "Qionglingao 113098" stranded at 16.33 degrees north latitude and 111.40 degrees east longitude near Yongle islands.

They are not facing life-threatening risks, according to Zhang.

"Qionglingao 113098" fishing boat, with 24 tourists aboard departed Sanya, Hainan Province, in the early morning of Jan. 2 and arrived at Yongle islands the next day. But gales and high waves forced the boat to drop anchor nearby to wait for rescue when it started journey back on Jan. 5.

A law enforcement vessel of the maritime police of Sansha city reached the stranded boat at around 5 p.m. Tuesday, and provided fresh water and fuel. But bad maritime conditions dampened maritime police's attempt to help them out.

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