Ship with 170 passengers onboard loses ability to steer, gets towed to safety

The China Post news staff

A transportation ship with 170 passengers and six crew members which began losing its ability to steer when sailing between the coastal township of Tongkang in the southern county of Pingtung and the offshore island of Little Liuqiu yesterday morning was safely towed to a nearby wharf by a patrol ship of the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), according to CGA officials. The Kaohsiung division of the CGA found at 9:00 a.m. yesterday that the Tianhou No. 1 transportation ship was failing to maintain normal steering during its voyage headed for Little Liuqiu. The CGA soon dispatched a PP-10017 patrol boat to help tow the passenger ship to a nearby wharf, safely rescuing the 176 passengers and 6 crew members.

CGA officials said that the coast guard will keep a close eye on ships sailing the seas during the Chinese New Year holidays, adding that operators of various ships should give special attention to sailing safety lest any undesirable tragic accidents occur, with the recent disaster of the Italian liner Costa Concordia keeping maritime safety on everyone’s mind.