Taipei (Taiwan News) – On Saturday (June 3), the Taima Star ferry carrying 389 passengers had an engine failure near the outlying island of Matsu and drifted for several hours.
The ship departed from Keelung, northern Taiwan, at 10 p.m. on Friday (June 2), but suffered an engine failure around 4 a.m. Saturday, preventing the ship from completing the journey. The incident happened about 30 nautical miles (56 kilometers) from the destination, the Freedom Times reported.
Among the 389 passengers, 209 went to Nangan and 180 to Dongyin. The local government held an emergency meeting and decided to send ships to tow the ferry into the port, and the Coast Guard Administration ordered three ships to accompany it.
The team arrived at the Tamar Star around 10 a.m., but the process of towing the ship to safety will take at least four hours, according to Central News Agency. Passengers were reportedly starving and angry that the crew tried to sell them canned food, the report said.
After the ferry arrived at Fu’ao Port in Nangan, each passenger was given water, food and compensation of NT$600 (US$20). According to the authorities, other ships were dispatched to transport passengers who wanted to continue to Dongyin and Juguang.
According to the Central News Agency, the Taiwan-Malaysian Star arrived safely in Matsu around 3:00 p.m., and at the same time a maintenance team flew in from the main island of Taiwan. The ship will not be allowed to resume sailing until a thorough inspection is carried out, officials said.