Coast Guard Boards Alien Migrant Vessel

July 4, 1995, Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis boarded the motor vessel Jung Sheng No. 8 Monday about 960 nautical miles southeast of Hawaii and found 139 people, believed to be Chinese nationals, held aboard the vessel.

The Panamanian registered vessel was heading east when Coast Guardsmen went aboard the 160 foot vessel shortly before 6 p.m. with the consent of the Panamanian government. The Jung Sheng No. 8 is a converted longline fishing vessel with 19 crew members who have been detained aboard their boat at the request of the government of Panama.

The 132 male and seven female migrants appear to have been at sea for about one month. They apparently have been living aboard the boat with adequate food and sanitary provisions. The cutter Jarvis is providing additional food and water and fans for ventilation aboard the Jung Sheng No. 8. Information from a variety of sources indicated the Jung Sheng No. 8 may have been previously involved in illegally transporting Chinese nationals to the Mexican and Central American west coast and was doing so again. Because of this, Coast Guard C-130 and U.S. Navy P-3 airplanes began searching for the vessel. A Coast Guard C-130 spotted the vessel Thursday and saw that it fit the profile of a suspected smuggling operation. Aircraft continued to monitor the vessel until the Jarvis arrived on scene Monday from Honolulu.

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