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Shipping accidents decreased

Shipping accidents decreased
China saw incidence of shipping accidents drop 11.2 percent since September 2007 through August year on year, the country's Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) said on Thursday.

In total, 378 shipping accidents happened during the time, with343 lives lost. The death toll declined 4 percent. The number of capsized vessels also decreased to 216, down 14.6percent year on year, according to the agency under the Ministry of Transport.

Liu Gongchen, the MSA vice director, said despite the decreasing number of maritime accidents, direct economic loss was up 16.5 percent to 508 million yuan (74.36 million U.S. dollars), because larger vessels these days meant heavier damage in accidents.

The Sept.-Aug. period saw 1,890 nautical emergencies involving 2,276 ships and 23,364 persons.

Liu said 1,841 boats were sent for rescue, saving 22,592 lives, representing a 96.7 percent success rate in lives savings.

Meanwhile, the ministry's Rescue and Salvage Bureau signed an agreement on Tuesday with U.S. company Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to buy four additional rescue helicopters.

The equipment, including an emergency float, powerful search light and rescue winch, will enhance China's salvage and rescue capacity both at sea and in air.


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