China's polar icebreaker rescues fishing boat in southwestern Pacific
China's research icebreaker Xuelong 2, currently in an Antarctic expedition, successfully rescued a fishing boat and its four crew members on Saturday (Beijing Time).
The icebreaker, or the Snow Dragon 2, found a fishing boat sending out a distress signal a day earlier in the waters off Papua New Guinea before coming to its rescue.
It became known that the four on board were fishermen from the Southwestern Pacific island country. The boat had been adrift for nearly nine hours after running out of its fuel and battery.
The expedition team aboard Xuelong 2 offered them food and diesel fuel, charged their batteries, and contacted the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, Papua New Guinea Maritime Rescue Coordination Center and the families of the crew members.
As there were no local rescue ships available, the team decided to lift the boat aboard the icebreaker and deliver it to designated waters. On Saturday, the boat, along with its crew members, was handed over to local vessels that came to its aid.
China's 40th Antarctic expedition team set sail on November 1 this year, starting a mission expected to last over five months. Research icebreakers Xuelong and Xuelong 2 set off from Shanghai, while cargo vessel Tian Hui departed from Zhangjiagang in east China's Jiangsu Province.