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Questions Float Around Grounded Fishing Vessel

October 8, 2004

AUTHORITIES are investigatingtwo deaths and other suspicious circumstancessurrounding the beaching of anAsian fishing vessel just outside Golfito,in southern Pacific Costa Rican waters.Environmentalists and Coast Guardofficials also were concerned about thepossibility of massive damage to the Osaarea that could have been caused if theboat’s 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled,but the fuel has mysteriously disappeared,Al Día reported.The vessel, the “Yu Long 33,” wasmanaged by the Puntarenas-based companyMariscos Wang S.A., according to astatement from the Public SecurityMinistry. After the ship ran aground Sept.18, representatives of Mariscos Wangwaited nearly three days before notifyingauthorities, and initially declined rescueassistance from Coast Guard officials,according to the ministry.Representatives of the organizationInternational Salvation of the Sea Turtle(SITMAR) claim to have found the vesseland taken the crew to a workingradio.Mariscos Wang sent a second ship,the “Yu Long 70,” to help rescue thestranded crew. Two members of the YuLong 70’s crew, both Chinese, boarded asmall boat to head to dislodge the vessel.Both disappeared, and the body of onewas found Sept. 21, six nautical milesfrom Cabo Mata Palo, according to thestatement.“Although the two crew members thatdisembarked the Yu Long 70 disappearedin the early hours of Sunday, it wasn’tuntil Tuesday afternoon of this week thatthe business communicated what happened,”said Lt. Guido Abarca, of theGolfito Coast Guard station, the day thebody was found.As of press time, all attempts to pullthe boat – which held a total of 11crewmembers, including the two whodrowned – to higher waters had failed.Abarca also said the identities of bothfallen crew members have not beenrevealed by the company.Mariscos Wang S.A., managed byFabio Wang, runs a private dock and processingplant in the Pacific port town ofPuntarenas that has been linked to thequestionable disembarkation of massiveloads of shark fins without the bodiesattached (TT, July 25, 2003).

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