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Kiribati Men Saved At Sea By Taiwanese Crew of US Seiner

Taiwanese tuna fishing master Ming-Chuan Lu has a knack for finding men from Kiribati who are lost at sea.
In December, the U.S.-flagged purse seiner American Victory, on which Lu is fishing master, discovered three Kiribati men who had been drifting for 11 days and returned them to Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati. For Lu, it was the third time he had rescued a group of Kiribati drifters.
Kiribati is a group of scattered low-lying coral atolls in the central Pacific. Islanders frequently travel by small outboard engine between Tarawa and atolls within a 50-mile range. Dozens of men have been reported missing at sea over the past decade.
At the time of the rescue on Christmas Eve last year, the U.S Flag seiner American Victory, majority owned by the Taiwanese fishing company Fong Seong, was heading away from Kiribati. It immediately changed course to return the three men home, after the purse seiner’s helicopter spotted them while looking for a tuna school.
Lu said rescuing Kiribati drifters have brought him luck in fishing. In late January, the American Victory offloaded nearly 1,200 tons of tuna in Majuro, Marshall Islands.
Kiribati fishermen and inter-atoll ocean commuters seem to have a predisposition for engine problems or exhausting their fuel supply. Once they become drifters in the Central Pacific, they have to contend with lack of food and water, exposure to the sun in small open boats, rough weather, and sharks.