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People's Daily Online

Chinese naval ships sail through Strait of Magellan for first time

People's Daily Online

( 09:00, October 17, 2013

Strait of Magellan, October 16 (ChinaMil) -- A taskforce of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLAN) which is composed of the guided missile destroyer 'Lanzhou', the guided missile frigate 'Liuzhou' and comprehensive supply ship 'Poyang Lake' successfully sailed through the Strait of Magellan at 15:00 on October 14, 2013, local time. This is the first time for the PLAN to pass through this important international waterway.

The taskforce entered the western opening of the Strait of Magellan through an inner water channel of Chile on the afternoon of October 13, local time.

'The passage features long narrow section, winding watercourses, many wide-angle turns, strong west wind, huge surges and changeable currents,' said Tang Yinchuan, captain of the 'Lanzhou' ship. For safety's sake, the taskforce strictly implemented the navigating arrangements under conditions of narrow channel, fog and heavy weather, and at last successfully passed through the strait.

Situated at the southern tip of mainland South America, the Strait of Magellan is an important waterway between South Pacific and South Atlantic oceans. In 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan passed through the place, and hence the name 'Strait of Magellan'. The strait is approximately 563 kilometers long and only 3.3 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. With raging waves inside and craggy rocks on both sides, it is one of the waters with the world's most violent stormy waves.

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