One rescuer died after Coast Guard helicopter crashed into the sea while responding to a grounded container ship TS Taipei in Taiwan. The helicopter was part from the rescue team for airlifting the crew members from the grounded carrier. The pilot of the helicopter is seriously injured, while another three people on board were rescued with minor injuries from the waters near the grounded container carrier TS Taipei. The New Taipei Fire Department identified the killed rescuer, as Tsai Chung-ta, a 35-year-old special services officer with the Coast Guard, who may have been hit by the helicopter’s rotor. The reason for the accident is under investigation, but according to preliminary information it was caused by strong winds.
The Coast Guard helicopter was carrying an engineer and two Coast Guard specialists to container ship TS Taipei, in response of heavy fuel oil leak from one of the bunker tanks. The engineers should help with stop of the oil leak and transfer fuel to some of the middle, undamaged tanks. Unfortunately the bad weather hampers the rescue and salvage operations.
The container ship TS Taipei ran aground off New Taipei in Taiwan on March 10, after losing propulsion power in rough sea. The cargo ship stuck into the rocks off New Taipei and suffered breaches into the aft part with danger of capsizing. The vessel has breached bunker tanks and spilled sufficient oil into the area of grounding. All the 21 crew members were airlifted and rescued without injuries.