China Oceanic Development Foundation: Maritime Search and Rescue, China and Japan are Working Together

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BEIJING, Dec. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With 69,900 kilometers winding coastline, first in the world, Asia has a number of important harbors, including nine of the world's largest harbors. Everyday numerous merchant ships pass through the water promoting the international ocean trade, but complex and unstable sea conditions pose threats to the safety of the crew as well as the cargo.

In the sea area between China and Japan, severe weather disasters such as typhoon, cold wave, dense fog occur frequently, making sea journeys risky and dangerous. The unfavorable natural conditions also increase the risk of collision with the reef, which constitutes a major reason for shipwreck.

At 15:00 December 18th, 2019, a refrigerated fish carrier HAI JI of Shandong Province, China, caught fire about 700 nautical miles off the southeast of Tokyo, Japan. The cabin was on fire and 23 people (including 18 Chinese and 5 Indonesians) on board were trapped and lost contact with the outside world. Having received SOS message, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center responded quickly. They made search and rescue plan and sought cooperation with Japan Coast Guard, asking aircrafts and patrol boats to search the reported location of the ship in distress. The two countries wasted no time and improved rescue details, coordinated to check passing ships in the surrounding waters and reported possible danger.

At 19:00, an aircraft sent by Japan Coast Guard arrived and found the life raft carrying 23 people. Three hours later, a merchant ship GOLDEN ASPIRANT arrived and transferred the victims on board safely. Soon after the successful rescue, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center got in touch with the captain of HAI JI through phone and confirmed that all the crew were safe and sound.

Such case is not uncommon. According to the statistics from Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China, from 2011 to 2020, 19,914 search and rescue operations were organized, 92,367 ships were dispatched, more than 150,000 people were rescued and property losses over 73 billion yuan were recovered.

Nowadays, maritime search and rescue has become an important issue, especially to countries whose development rely heavily on the sea. The complexity of the sea condition and the difficulty of rescue missions makes it necessary to carry out international cooperation to ensure maritime safety. In recent years, China and Japan have carried out cooperation actively on maritime search and rescue operations. In 2010, invited by Japan Coast Guard, China Maritime Safety Administration sent the ship HAI XUN 21 to Tokyo to participate in Japan's 2010 annual parade and comprehensive exercise of maritime search and rescue. In 2018, the two countries signed Sino-Japan Maritime Search and Rescue Agreement, which demonstrated that China and Japan would continue to deepen cooperation on maritime search and rescue, protect the safety of people and property on the sea and promote regional maritime economic development.

China and Japan have been working together on maritime search and rescue in the past and have achieved remarkable results. In the future, more joint efforts will be made to create a safer sea environment, boosting the marine economy and promoting the construction of a sea community with a shared future.

SOURCE China Oceanic Development Foundation

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