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Taiwan mulls armed guards on ships against pirates

Awaiting the government's decision Taiwan is considering a plan to place armed guards on board local ships that sail in pirate-infested waters, especially off Somalia, officials and media said Tuesday."The proposal has been under evaluation, but details of how it can be done have not been finalised," an official at the transportation ministry told AFP, declining to give his name.Industry officials said the proposed measures would not be implemented until an amendment to the law governing guns and firearms that bars the employment of armed guards on board local vessels.While awaiting the government's decision, leading shipping firms Evergreen Marine Corp and Yangming Marine Transport Corp have both already taken steps to protect their vessels."Since late last year, our company has adopted special security measures on our ships sailing on some routes," a Yangming official said, without providing details.The Taipei-based Commercial Times said Yangming had hired armed guards from a French company, deploying three on each ship travelling through risky waters near Somalia.It would be possible for Yangming to do this because the ships are registered overseas and therefore not subject to Taiwan's rules against firearms onboard.The dangers were highlighted in November when a Taiwanese fishing boat was seized by pirates ...

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Armed guards on transport, fishing vessels considered

Taiwan is considering a plan to place armed guards on board ships Taiwan is considering a plan to place armed guards on board ships that sail in pirate-infested waters, especially off Somalia, officials and media said yesterday."The proposal has been under evaluation, but details of how it can be done have not been finalized," a Ministry of Transportation and Communications official said, declining to give his name.Industry officials said the proposed measures would not be implemented until an amendment to the law governing guns and firearms, which bars the employment of armed guards on board Taiwanese vessels.While awaiting the government's decision, leading shipping firms Evergreen Marine Corp and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp have both already taken steps to protect their vessels."Since late last year, our company has adopted special security measures on our ships sailing on some routes," a Yang Ming official said, without providing details.The Commercial Times said Yang Ming had hired armed guards from a French company, deploying three on each ship traveling through risky waters near Somalia.It would be possible for Yang Ming to do this because the ships are registered overseas and therefore not subject to Taiwan's rules against firearms onboard.The dangers were highlighted in ...

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Taiwan’s marine cargo volume numbers up in October

Taiwan' marine cargo volume in October hit a record high in four years Taiwan' marine cargo volume in October hit a record high in four years, while the number of air passengers in the month also reached the highest level in five years, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said Saturday. According to statistics compiled by the ministry, the cargo handled by Taiwan's harbors in October totaled 1.15 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to a high in four years, up 11.9 percent from a year earlier. TEUs are the measurement of capacity of a container vessel. In the first 10 months of this year, Taiwan's marine cargo volume totaled 11.13 million TEUs. Kaohsiung Harbor ranked the largest cargo handler in Taiwan in October, with a throughput of 830,000 TEUs, which grew 13 percent from a year ago after the inauguration of a new container terminal in the harbor in the beginning of this year. In the January-October period, Kaohsiung Harbor's throughput reached 7.99 million TEUs, up 5.8 percent year-on-year and the ministry said the throughput of the harbor is expected to exceed 9.5 million TEUs for 2011. Keelung Harbor was the second largest, handling 150,000 TEUs of cargo in October ...

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Rescue teams in Taiwan were still looking for survivors from the Jui Hsing off port of Keelung

Death toll rises to seven Rescue teams in Taiwan were still looking for survivors from the "Jui Hsing" off the northern port of Keelung.Three more bodies were discovered washed ashore, bringing the number of confirmed dead to seven after the freighter ran aground.Eleven crew members were either rescued or swam to safety. The search for three more sailors who were still listed as missing has recently been hampered by bad weather.The wreck was followed by an emergency cleanup operation by environmental authorities as they worried that hundreds of tones of oil may have leaked into the sea from the vessel's fuel tanks.Workers used booms and absorbents to clean up the shoreline threatened by an oil slick.Source: Vesseltracker

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Taiwan: Cargo ship death toll rises to six

Cargo vessel ran aground off Taiwans northern coast The death toll in an accident involving a cargo vessel which ran aground off Taiwans northern coast has risen to six.Taiwans Coast Guard Administration said in a statement that it is continuing to search for four crew members still missing from the Panamanian-registered Jui Hsing.The ship, with a crew of 21, ran aground in stormy seas yesterday and broke in two off the port of Keelung.The administration said 11 seafarers have been rescued.Taiwanese officials said the accident caused 300 tons of oil to spill into the sea. Experts warned clean-up efforts could take a year.Taiwan was under the influence of Typhoon Nalgae over the weekend. The storm pummelled the northern Philippines.Source: Wales Online

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Taiwan requests US investigation into the death of the Taiwanese skipper

He was killed during a firefight between US Navy and Somali pirates Taiwan has requested a US investigation into the death of a Taiwanese citizen during a firefight between the US navy and Somali pirates. That's the word from Cabinet spokesman Philip Yang on Monday.Taiwanese citizen Wu Lai-yu was a skipper on a fishing vessel that was hijacked by pirates near Somalia last year. He was killed this month by cross-fire between US naval forces and the pirates on the ship.Wu's family is now seeking compensation from the US military. The family has also requested photo evidence of the deceased so they can confirm Wu's identity.Yang saidthe government will do its best to help with relevant costs and procedures."This situation is of course most unfortunate and regrettable," said Yang. "Both family members and his boat company are hoping for some more material support to deal with follow-up procedures, and that will be provided by our foreign ministry and fisheries agency."The foreign ministry has requested a report from the US government, the naval fleet that engaged the pirates, and the US representative office in Taiwan.Yang explained that waters around Somalia are an important source of fish for Taiwan's fishing industry. He ...

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