Monday, August 3, 2015

Unknown Fleet: China Rescue and Salvage

De Yue
The ancient people observed that through examining the history, we can see the rights and wrongs about the running of a country. Looking into the modern history of China Rescue & Salvage Bureau of the Ministry of Communication (China Rescue & Salvage for short), we can draw a conclusion that although its quite natural that the construction and development of China Rescue & Salvage would never materialize without the nourishment of the sea, it is all the more closely linked to the founding, developing of the new China and its opening up to the outside world.
Hua Tian Long
Today, China can be regarded as boasting of vast ocean resource, booming shipping transportation, large quantity of seamen and rescue & salvage force. As a country of vast ocean resource, China possesses more than 300 square kilometers worth of coastal areas and exclusive economic zones not including the land; as a country of booming shipping transportation, China owns ocean-going fleet composed of 220,000 vessels with its strength being ranked second worldwide, and this fleet shoulders the shipment of 90% imported and exported goods; as a country of a large number of seamen, China has trained a team of 500,000 ocean-going seamen and 1,000,000 inland seamen, whose number is largest all over the world; as a country of main rescue & salvage force, China has preliminarily established joint rescue network of sea and air across the coastal regions of the whole country. 

De Yi
But despite the said advantages, China is still far from powerful in terms of ocean resources, shipping transportation, sailor staff and rescue & salvage force, however China is right now accumulating energy to accomplish the transition from being a country of large resource to one of powerful resource, and is at the critical point of fulfilling China's revitalization ever since the Opium War. The China Rescue & Salvage which is responsible for the security of navigation, shipping and seamen should concern itself about how to respond and adjust to the upcoming transition from being a country of vast ocean resource, booming shipping transportation, large number of seamen and rescue & salvage force to one of vast ocean resource, powerful shipping transportation, outstanding seamen and strong rescue & salvage force. By no means should we let slip the good opportunity. Taking a historical and global perspective, we shall deliberate upon and plan about the future of China Rescue & Salvage, which is a historical mission set upon us, an endorsement from the Party and the people as well as the bounden duty of China Rescue & Salvage leaders. 
Wei Li
The past history of China Rescue & Salvage was one of trail-blazing, struggle and climbing uphill. China Rescue & Salvage grew up under the care and support of the Party and the people, and became strong owing to several generations of rescue & salvage people braving hardship and struggling forward. The rescue & salvage undertaking experienced the early, developing and flourishing periods, in particular after the rescue & salvage institutional revolution on 28th, June, 2003, the rescue & salvage undertaking entered into fast-paced development like a black horse bursting forward with full energy. While growing strong, China Rescue & Salvage begins to exercise more and more influence in the world rescue & salvage industry. The objective of China Rescue & Salvage of growing strong and powerful in recent years has proved to us that the fate of China Rescue & Salvage was, is and will be always closely connected to that of China. A country will get prosperous if it has ocean resource at its disposal, otherwise it will decline; while China Rescue & Salvage will get prosperous if China is prosperous and get weak if China is weak. China Rescue & Salvage and China draw upon and complement each other.
Wei Li
At the early period, China Rescue & Salvage braved hardship and struggled with enthusiasm, making great contribution to curing the China of war trauma and recovering the national economy.
De Fen
The period lasted 22 years (1951-1973). China Rescue & Salvage remained in infancy state, weakly founded and insufficiently invested in, however, with the rescue workers patriotism running high, it took up the heavy mission of curing the war trauma, clearing channels, lifting blockage at sea and recovering the national economy as soon as possible. As a result, China Rescue & Salvage was highly valued by the Party and the people and had made great contribution to the solidification of the red army regime.
De Du
After the liberation of Shanghai, the whole city was in ruins. To clear the Huangpu River sea-route to recover the transportation was the priority. Under the leadership of Military Control Commission, 100 workers from the rescue & salvage of the former Investment Promotion Bureau were mobilized to start the rescue & salvage operation on the Huangpu River and near the Yangtze Estuary. In two years, 35 sunken and distressed vessels were salved with a total of 3,600 tonnages.
Nanhaijiu 113
On 24th, Aug, 1951, China People Salvage Company was officially founded in the Customs building on the bund. According to the document, the company only owned a tugboat Xiaopanshan of 170 horsepower, a Xieji barge with a tonnage of 1078 tons, a batch of dilapidated small barges of 200 tons as well as an assortment of exotic diving equipments and other tools.
Donghaijiu 115
Despite the poor equipments and harsh conditions, the first generation of rescue & salvage workers united a large number of laborers, and finished the Huangpu River channel-clearing and salvage operations in one year, making not a few contributions to curing the war trauma and enabling Shanghai to replay its role as a port city.
In 1953, the Navigation Aid Department of the Navigation Engineering Bureau of the Ministry of Communications decided to take up the Jiang Yin choke line channel dredging project from that year, and at the same time, the outer Wusongkou, south channel of Yangtze River and Yingkou, Madang choke line dredging measuring project were going on. The dredging & salvage project of all main ports across the whole country sent out diving group to conduct operations with the local laborers. In order to increase the efficiency of the salvage operation, Shanghai Ship Building Factory was commissioned by China People Salvage Company to manufacture two pairs of buoy of 250 tons. 
Beihaijiu 201

In 1955, in rescuing the passenger-cargo ship Democracy No 3, the domestically-made lifting pontoon (salvage buoy) was used for the first time and the salvage achieved great success. The lifting pontoon was further used in the Jinanwan, Pingdaowan salvage projects, both of which resulted in successes. In 1955, the China People Salvage Company had its name officially changed to Shanghai Salvage Engineering Bureau. After 7 years hard work, the salvage staff cleared up more than 40 choke lines either along the Yangtze River(in Hankou) or near the coast(in Shanghai, Tianjin) and made immense contribution to the national economy recovery. 
Beihaijiu 111
In the latter half year of 1959, the then administrative unit---Shanghai Bureau of Shipping timely put forward the guideline of placing equal emphasis on rescue & salvage while subordinating salvage to rescue, and the salvage projects along both river and coast were conducted in compliance with the scheduled plan. According to the Rescue Agreement signed among China, Korea and Soviet Union, Salvage Engineering Bureau set up Beiyang Rescue Engineering Zone, Shanghai Rescue Engineering Zone, and Nanyang Rescue Engineering Zone in Yantai, Shanghai and Wenzhou respectively.
Nanhaijiu 101
On Feb, 1963, the Ministry of Communication confirmed Shanghai Salvage Engineering Bureaus guideline of to place equal emphasis on rescue & salvage while to subordinate salvage to rescue, and to dredge channel, conducting salvage if necessary. In this year, under the direction of Premier Zhou, Shanghai Salvage Engineering Bureau successfully accomplished the reconnaissance project by Yuejing vessel. The central government attached great importance to the rescue and salvage undertaking and the latter showed auspicious momentum for development.
On 5t, Aug, 1963, Shanghai Salvage Engineering Bureau was renamed Shanghai Rescue & Salvage Bureau. On 15th, Dec, approved by the State Council, rescue stations were established in Taijin, Yantai, Qingdao and Shanghai. In 1964, with the guideline of placing equal emphasis on rescue & salvage while subordinating salvage to rescue being further implemented, many distressed Chinese and foreign vessels were timely rescued.
In the same year, in order to increase the number of divers, despite the fact that treasury was in short of money, Premier Zhou gave his approval to the recruitment of 300 divers across the country, and 2 buildings, diving pool were built for diver training in the Yangshupu Road, Shanghai and diving apparatus were purchased for the diving training. From 1964 to the first half year of 1966, the rescue work experienced fast development. From the latter half year of 1966, because of the reason which was known to all, the rescue work stagnated for a long time. During this time, the Navy also played important role in the rescue work.

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