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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 7:58 p.m., Sunday, April 14, 2002

Rescued seamen surrender to immigration officials

Associated Press

Nine rescued Chinese seamen who disappeared after being put up in a Waikiki hotel were being held at the federal detention center following their surrender, immigration officials said.

The men turned themselves in at U.S. Immigration and Natural Service headquarters late last night after people in Chinatown told them authorities were closing in, the officials said today.

The nine would likely be processed tomorrow and could be heading home by the end of the week, INS District Director Donald Radcliffe said.

The Norwegian Star cruise ship rescued the men, their captain and a badly burned crewmate April 2 from the disabled Indonesian tanker Insiko 1907. The tanker had been adrift for 20 days without power or communications following a fire that killed another crewman.

The captain found the men missing April 3 when he went to pick them up for dinner.

The injured crewman and the captain flew home to Taiwan on April 6, with the nine remaining crew members scheduled to report to immigration offices last Tuesday to arrange their trip home to China. They failed to show up.

The body of the dead crewman was left aboard the Insiko, along with the captain's dog, which became the subject of a $50,000 air-and-sea search organized by the Hawaiian Humane Society. The effort was abandoned April 7 when the drifting tanker couldn't be located.

However, a ship believed to be the Insiko was sight last Tuesday off Hawai'i, and the society hoped it might be found by a fishing boat in the area.