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Hopes Fade for 5 Thai Sailors Lost in Friday Ferry Sinking Off Taiwan

Seatrain Thai Ferry from Japan Capsizes off Taiwan Kahshiung

The Foreign Affairs Ministry and Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei are helping Thais involved in the capsizing of a newly bought passenger ferry off Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Ministry spokesman Thanee Saengrat said the ship en route to Thailand for passenger-ferry service was carrying ten Thai crewmembers when it capsized off Kaohsiung on the night of Oct. 23. Four patrol boats and four rescue boats were deployed at the scene.

Five crewmembers wearing life jackets were rescued and brought to the Port of Kaohsiung. Two of them were sent to hospital. Searches for the rest five crewmembers continued Monday with no news about any recoveries by early Tuesday.

Thai Seatran Ferry Co. bought the passenger-cargo hybrid vessel from Japan and hired Advance Marine Co. to deliver it to Thailand. The ferry left Japan on Oct. 14. It had a technical problem and issued a distress signal on Oct. 19 before capsizing on Oct. 23.

The Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei and a shipping agency were coordinating help for affected crewmembers and their relatives, Thanee said.