Saturday, September 30, 2006
The Japanese registered fishing ship the "Ryoei Maro", damaged in a collision with a Thai vessel, off the coast of Angoche district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, sank according to the Angoche maritime authorities, cited by the Maputo daily "Noticias". The Mozambican authorities are working to rescue the 22 crew members of the "Ryoei Maru" (seven Japanese and 15 Indonesians), who had been transferred to the Thai ship, "Tengone BH3102", after the collision, which occurred in the small hours of the morning. The rescue boat, hired by the Angoche Maritime Administration from a local fishing company, left to the site of the accident, some 46 miles off the coast, at about 06:00 on Thursday morning, carrying a team from the immigration and customs services, the Maritime Administration itself, and the Angoche district government, plus some sailors of the Mozambican navy.
Ryoei MaruCommunications with the rescue boat are impossible because its radio equipment broke down months ago. An alternative system was being used, but it too has broken down. Until the collision, the Mozambican authorities knew nothing about the presence of either of these two fishing ships in Mozambican waters, and it is believed that they were fishing illegally. In the case of the Japanese vessel, this might be difficult to prove since its catch is now at the bottom of the Mozambique Channel. The causes of the accident are as yet unknown, but the weather on the day of the collision was bad, with thick fog and strong winds.