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Emergency drill held in South China Sea
An emergency drill involving 13 ships and a helicopter was held Thursday morning at seas near Sansha in southern China's island province of Hainan, the city's marine bureau said.
It is the first comprehensive emergency drill on such large scale after Sansha was established in 2012. The drill included air-sea search and rescue, emergency treatment and sea fire-fighting.
Two cargo ships "collided" near Sansha and left seven mariners missing. Fire broke out on one of the ships, threatening the lives of eight other sailors onboard.
Upon receiving the SOS, the city's maritime search and rescue center initiated an emergency plan, dispatching cruise, salvage and coast guard ships near the area to search for the missing sailors and put out the fire.
Over 200 people from 10 departments participated in the drill. The seven mariners were saved and the fire extinguished, according to the bureau.
The maritime search and rescue center in Sansha was established in July, 2013, and has since rescued 1,201 people in 49 emergencies.
According to deputy mayor Chen Rumao, the city plans to normalize such emergency drills and expand their area into Nansha waters.
[Source: Xinhua, Sansha, Hainan, 14Jul16]
East China Sea Conflict
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