Friday, April 30, 1999

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Above, an exhausted fisherman who jumped overboard
lies on the deck of a Taiwanese ship after being
rescued by a crew mate.

Taiwan fishing
boat’s crew jumps
ship at Pier 2

After four fishermen are cleared to
go home, six more disgruntled crew
members jump overboard

By Susan Kreifels


Ten Chinese fishermen flew home yesterday after complaining of food and working conditions on a Taiwanese fishing boat docked here.

Immigration officials on an inspection of the Wen Shu No. 212 at Pier 2 had cleared four crew members to go home on the captain's request, said Donald Radcliffe, district director for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. When the inspectors left, six more fishermen jumped overboard to draw attention to themselves.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Below, an agent pats down the fishermen before
taking them to the airport.

"Some of the others decided it was a good idea (to go home). That's when they started jumping," Radcliffe said. "I would think the captain wasn't going to let them go. You can imagine this guy stuck 7,000 miles from his home port and no crew anymore."

The fishermen who jumped overboard were treated at the dock and did not require further medical aid.

No arrests were made, Radcliffe said. The boat has five crew members left and will continue as soon as it is supplied.

Radcliffe said the crew members flew back to China yesterday. Ticket fares are the responsibility of the employer.

Repatriating fishing crew is common, Radcliffe said. They go home for several reasons: the end of a contract, sickness, a family emergency or being disgruntled with their bosses. But it's uncommon, he added, to have so many leave one boat.

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