Ghost freighter runs aground in the Penghu Islands

An unnamed, unmanned freighter ran aground on Xiji Island in Penghu County, Taiwan in the early hours of this morning, January 18, and authorities are concerned of a possible pollution incident.

The Coast Guard Administration Penghu branch received a report of a freighter seen aground on the rocky northern coastline of Xiji Island at around 10:20 am.

The coast guard sent two patrol boats and a helicopter on an emergency rescue mission, only to find there was apparently nobody aboard the ship, and no visible name or identification on the hull.

An aerial search of Xiji Island, which has been uninhabited since the last residents of Xiji Village abandoned the island in the 1970s, also found nobody on land.

Fearing the possibility of a major oil pollution incident Coast Guard Command set up an emergency response center in cooperation with the Airborne Service Corps and the Penghu County Government Environmental Protection Bureau.

Rough seas have so far prevented the possibility of a boarding party, and vessels are standing by and monitoring the ship until calmer seas make boarding possible.

aerial view of freighter aground in Penghu Islands
Unmanned freighter aground on Xiji Island, January 18, 2021.
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