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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Search for submarine captain continues: Navy

ROC Central News Agency

2009/09/15 14:39:13

By Elizabeth Hsu

Kaohsiung, Sept. 15 (CNA) The Navy continued its search Tuesday for a submarine captain who was swept overboard Monday night in waters off the coast of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, according to the Navy Fleet Command.

Chen Chi-tsung, captain of the submarine Hai Lung, was knocked off his vessel by big waves during a drill Monday night.

Head of the Navy Fleet Command Wen Chen-kuo said Tuesday that the Navy has since launched 60 sorties, deploying nearly 1,000 personnel and 60 aircraft and marine vessels in waters off the Zuoying naval base.

"The search has not stopped, " Wen said, reiterating the military's determination to find the captain within the "golden 72 hours, " which is the period in which the chances of survival are highest after such an accident.

Chen's deputy Sun Jung-lu was quoted by a local news paper as saying that his captain fell overboard and was swallowed by a 14-meter wave before he could reach the life buoy that was thrown to him.

The Hai Lung, a 66.92 meter submarine modeled on the Netherlands' Zwaardvis-class submarine, was commissioned in the late 1980s.

It is 8.4 meters wide and is equipped with six 21-inch torpedo launchers and advanced navigation and combat systems. It has the capacity to carry 11 officers and 66 crew members.

The Hai Lung and another Zwaardvis-class sub, the Hai Hu, as well as two other types of submarines, form the backbone of the navy's underwater defense force and are responsible for anti-submarine and coastal surveillance missions.



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