Two more crewmen rescued from Taiwanese boat following bloodshed

TAIPEI (CNA) – Two more crew members were rescued Friday from the Pingtung-registered fishing boat Wen Peng in the Indian Ocean, with six still missing following an incident on Wednesday in which two members of the crew were killed by one of their colleagues, Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency (FA) said Friday.

The two individuals were rescued by workers on the Taiwanese fishing boats Shang Feng No. 3 and Hungfu No. 88, which rushed to the scene to assist with the rescue mission after being notified of the killings on Wednesday, the FA said.

The crew members from the two boats were able to draw the suspect, a Filipino fisherman, away from the two injured fishermen, before boarding the Wen Peng and rescuing them, according to Lin Kuo-ping (林國平), deputy director-general of the FA.

As of Friday, a total of 15 crew members, including the Taiwanese captain and two other Taiwanese nationals, had been rescued from the boat or from the sea after they jumped overboard to escape the violence, the FA said.

Six of the crew members who jumped into the sea are still missing, the agency said.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, the FA said it received a report informing it that a Filipino fisherman had attacked other crew members with a knife on the Wen Peng, which was operating in the open sea about 1,582 nautical miles from Mauritius.

The Wen Peng had a total of 24 crew members – three Taiwanese, 10 Filipinos and 11 Indonesians.

A Filipino and an Indonesian crew were killed in the incident, while many were forced to jump overboard.

The FA said the Filipino suspect allegedly attacked the other crew members because of issues related to discipline. The suspect remained the only person on the vessel as of Friday.

By Yang Shu-min and Christie Chen