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China to stage biggest maritime rescue exercise

China's maritime rescue services will stage their biggest ever exercise in the East China Sea Friday, an official said Thursday.

The exercise, being jointly held by the Ministry of Transport and east China's Zhejiang Province, will involve 35 ships, three aircraft and more than 1,000 personnel, said He Yipei, deputy general director of the exercise and deputy director of the Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration.

The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. off the coast of Ningbo and last about 90 minutes, He said.

"The drill will test China's maritime rescue capabilities and security for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010," He said.

The exercise will simulate a collision between a passenger ship and a cargo vessel loaded with chemicals, resulting in a fire on the passenger ship and a benzene leak, He said.

Rescuers will transfer the people in danger, treat those overcome by fumes, control the chemical leakage, search for people in the water, put out the fire and evacuate 16,000 people living along the coast in the area of the exercise.

 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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