《TAIPEI TIMES》 Authorities assist Ukraine family with boating breakdown
A Ukrainian identified by his first name, Valeriy, speak to reporters yesterday at Taichung’s Wuqi Fishing Port. Photo: CNA
/ Staff writer, with CNA
A Ukrainian family whose sailboat malfunctioned in the Taiwan Strait has, with help from the coast guard and immigration authorities, spent the past week docked at Taichung’s Wuqi Fishing Port while they wait for repairs.
A Malaysian-flagged sailboat carrying the family of three on Wednesday last week asked permission to enter the port at about 6:30pm, the Coast Guard Administration （CGA） said.
The pilot of the vessel said he was having trouble with the rudder and wanted to stop to get it inspected and repaired, it said.
The family were given seven-day visitor permits, but immigration officials arranged to extend them because they would have expired while the boat was still undergoing repairs, the CGA said.
In an interview yesterday, the 41-year-old father, who asked to be identified by his first name, Valeriy, said that he had been sailing throughout Asia with his wife and 13-year-old son since Russia invaded Ukraine.
An electrical engineer originally from Lviv, Valeriy said that his family had traveled to places including Yemen, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and typically got around by bicycle after reaching their destinations.
On the most recent leg of their trip, the family left Tongyeong-si in South Korea en route to the Philippines, but stopped in Keelung due to high waves, which had given his son severe motion sickness, he said.
From Keelung, they continued south, but had to stop again in Taichung after encountering problems with their rudder, Valeriy said.
Since docking in Taichung, the family have been spending the nights on their boat, but have been venturing ashore each day to stock up on supplies, Valeriy said.
He added that he people he had met had all been very friendly and helpful.
Although they have now received 30-day entry permits, they plan to continue with their voyage as soon as the repairs are complete, he said.