Fujian fishermen return home after tragic Kinmen incident

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21st February 2024 – (Beijing) Two fishermen from China’s Fujian Province, survivors of a grievous maritime incident near Kinmen, embarked on their journey back to Xiamen on Tuesday, escorted by representatives of the Red Cross Society of China’s (RCSC) Quanzhou branch.

This development follows the harrowing events of February 14, which saw a confrontational encounter with Taiwanese authorities that turned fatal. The incident led to the fishermen being cast into the sea, resulting in the tragic loss of two lives.

On the day of their departure, the grieving relatives of the deceased made their way to a Kinmen funeral home to undertake the heart-wrenching task of identifying their family members.

The morning saw the RCSC delegates and the fishermen’s kin departing from a ferry terminal in Quanzhou, their sights set on Kinmen. Their mission was to address the aftermath of the calamity that struck unexpectedly.

Amidst calls for clarity and accountability, Li Zhaohui, a senior RCSC advisor from the Jinjiang branch in Quanzhou, voiced a stern call to action. He insisted on a thorough investigation to elucidate the circumstances leading to the fatalities. Li emphasised that understanding the incident’s cause was a fundamental expectation, one that Taiwan should not dismiss under any circumstances.

Moreover, Li urged the Taiwanese authorities to disclose the full truth behind the confrontation and to administer justice to those found culpable in the incident.

The Kinmen incident has cast a spotlight on the often-tense relations across the Taiwan Strait, highlighting the perils faced by those who navigate these contested waters. As the survivors return to their homeland, the quest for answers and the demand for transparency continue, underscoring the need for adherence to maritime protocols and the protection of lives in a region fraught with geopolitical complexity.

The families’ search for closure and the call for justice resonate beyond national borders, serving as a poignant reminder of the human cost of regional disputes. The international community watches on as the incident’s details unfold, awaiting the resolution of a situation that has once again brought to the fore the importance of diplomatic engagement and crisis management.

In the aftermath of this tragic event, the RCSC’s involvement underscores the vital role of humanitarian organizations in providing support and advocacy in times of crisis. The incident not only calls for a thorough investigation but also for a review of engagement protocols to prevent future tragedies.