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High-tech rescue boats set for Yangshan Port

THREE high-tech rescue boats, costing a total of more than 100 million yuan (US$14.6 million), will start service at Shanghai's Yangshan Deep Water Port before the end of the year.

The port, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, is frequently hit by high tides and gales. It now has five patrol boats, but their use is limited in extreme weather conditions. Only the best of them is able to put to sea when winds reach 87 kilometers per hour (gale force nine), said Wu Hongbing, director of the port maritime administration.

"But those conditions are common so there's a great need for better patrol boats," Wu said yesterday.

The first of the three new boats will begin service next month. The other two in September or November.

All will operate in extreme weather and they are much faster than present patrol boats, which will improve the handling of emergencies.


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