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Boat collision survivors sought off Senkakus

Date Posted: 2009-04-23

The Japanese Coast Guard is searching waters off the Senkaku Islands, looking for two Taiwanese sailors missing after a collision between their fishing boat and another vessel.

The collision occurred about 36 kilometers from the disputed Senkaku Islands on Friday, hurling 13 sailors overboard as the fishing vessel capsized. All but two were rescued by another Taiwanese fishing vessel in the area. Coast Guard officials say both the captain and chief engineer are missing, and that Taiwanese and Japanese search teams are trying to locate the other two.

The Coast Guard says it hasn’t identified the second vessel involved in the collision, but that rescued sailors say it was a large boat. The Senkaku Islands are controlled by Japan, but both China and Taiwan have lodged claims that the rugged, uninhabited islands belong to their countries. The islands also go by the names Pinnacle Islands and Diaoyutai Islands. They’re located west of Okinawa in the East China Sea.

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