An Indonesian sailor has been rescued despite suffering a shark attack but four other crewmen are missing after their Taiwanese fishing boat apparently caught fire in the East China Sea, officials said Sunday.
Taiwan’s coastguard said they were informed by their Japanese counterparts Saturday noon that the 26-tonne “Cheng Tsai Li” was drifting 35 nautical miles (65 km) northeast of Miyako-jima, an island in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture.
An Indonesian sailor aboard the fishing vessel was rescued by another Taiwanese fishing boat, the Taiwan coastguard said.
“He was injured, suffering from shark bites,” coastguard spokesperson Hsieh Ching-chin told AFP. No details of the attack or the man’s injuries were available.
Two coastguard vessels from Taiwan and two from Japan were mobilised to search for the four missing crewmen — the Taiwanese skipper, a Taiwanese sailor and two Indonesian sailors.
“As of now, we have had no luck. We’re racing against time as the weather is cold,” Hsieh said.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear but it seemed that the Cheng Tsai Li had been hit by a fire, he said.