China Urges Australia to Help Find Crew of Capsized Fishing Boat

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) – China’s ambassador in Australia urged Canberra to increase its rescue efforts on Thursday to help find the 39 crew members who are missing on a Chinese ship that capsized early this week in the Indian Ocean.

State media reported that President Xi Jinping ordered all efforts to be made in order to find the missing crew. The crew includes 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians, and five Filipinos.

At a press briefing, Ambassador Xiao Qian stated that the incident was within Australia's area of search and recovery. "We wish our Australian colleagues would coordinate with other foreign or international vessels or ships in the area to assist in search and relief to save as many people as possible."

Xiao expressed his gratitude to Australian authorities for sending four ships and three aircrafts to the area located approximately 5,000 kilometres away from the west coast of the country.

The ambassador expressed his hope that efforts would not only continue, but be intensified.

He said that the capsized boat was found, but there were no survivors so far.

China coordinates with other countries, including Indonesia and Sri Lanka, to rescue the victims.

CCTV, the state-run news agency, reported that the distant-water fishery vessel "Lupeng Yuanyu 228", owned by Penglai Jinglu Fishery Co Ltd, based in Shandong Province, capsized on Tuesday morning. The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.