Crewmen from the Indonesian tanker Insiko 1907 were taken to shore April 2 by the U.S. Coast Guard in Kailua-Kona. Eleven crew members stranded aboard the tanker for more than two weeks were rescued after firing a flare and setting a fire.

Saved Chinese
crewmen vanish

9 crewmen rescued from
an Indonesian tanker went to
dinner and never returned

By Helen Altonn

Federal authorities are looking for nine mainland Chinese crewmen from the disabled Indonesian tanker Insiko 1907 who left their hotel for dinner last week and never returned.

The men were awaiting travel documents from the Chinese counsel in Los Angeles to go back to China, said Donald Radcliffe, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service district director.

Their parole to leave the United States ended yesterday and "they're here without any status; they are illegal aliens," he said.

The cruise ship Norwegian Star rescued 11 Insiko crew members after one crew member was killed and another injured in a fire March 13.

The Taiwanese captain and first mate were treated for burns and flown to Taiwan Saturday, Radcliffe said.

The other crewmen were in various rooms at a Waikiki hotel with the shipping agent keeping an eye on them, he said.

They were free to go anywhere in the area but they didn't return from dinner April 3 or contact the shipping agent, the ship's captain or INS, Radcliffe said.

"We think they're still in town. We assume they have someone helping them here. They've probably been stashed in some rooms here."

Their intent apparently was to remain in the United States, if not in Hawaii, possibly New York, Radcliffe said.

He said the INS has some leads to the whereabouts of the missing men and once they're found, they'll be confined in the federal detention center until travel documents are obtained to send them back to China.

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