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Asian trawler stranded on Cape Town beach

By AFP

CAPE TOWN (AFP) - A fishing trawler with 28 Taiwanese crew ran aground early Saturday in dense fog off Cape Town, presenting a strange site to people on the upmarket Clifton Beach.

The 50-metre (164-foot) Eihatsu Maru got stuck about 35 meters off shore, driven by the incoming tide in Table Bay at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, said the National Sea Rescue Institute.

Rescuers found "28 Taiwanese fishermen and the captain's dog, a cross border collie named Alley, on board, with the generators of the vessel still running and all crew onboard safe," said NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon.

Rescue craft evacuated 19 fishermen to shore, said Lambinon, who added: "The remaining nine crew remain onboard their vessel, and the captain has insisted that his dog stays with him."

The ship's hull appeared intact and the vessel might be towed back out to sea during high tide Saturday night, he added in a statement.

Environmental authorities will keep watch to check that the vessel's 90 tonnes of fuel and ammonia used for refrigeration do not spill into the sea.

Sailors have dubbed the bay, notorious for its tempestuous waters, the "Cape of Storms" over the centuries.