Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Suspected sunken vessel 40 meters down near Tungsha Islands


By Lilian Wu

Taipei, National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, has reported a suspected sunken vessel in 40 meters of water near the Tungsha (Pratas) islands in the South China Sea.

Liu Chin-yuan, director of the university's Institute of Undersea Technology, unveiled the results of his research of the waters around the islands over the past year in a seminar held in Kaohsiung.

Liu said that his team has been collecting information and carrying out inspections since last year, and that in May and June this year, it detected via sonar what the team suspects is a sunken ship.

Possible salvage operations, however, will have to wait for further confirmation, he said. Hsieh Hsin-tsi, president of the Chinese Underwater Archaeology Society, said that the average depth of the water around Taiwan is 70 meters and that the suspected vessel is at 40 meters.

He said the possibility of finding sunken ships in the waters around the Pratas islands is high based on historical records and various inspections. National Sun Yat-sen University conducted the survey at the commission of the Marine Bureau of the Kaohsiung city government, which administers the islands.

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