Ghost Ship – The High Aim 6



High Aim 6 (Chinese : Haian liuhao ????) left the port of Liuchiu in southern Taiwan on 31 October 2002, and was then found without its crew, drifting in Australian waters, on 8 January 2003. The owner of the ship, Tsai Huang Shueh-er, spoke last with the captain in December 2002. The vessel was registered in Taiwan and flew under an Indonesian flag.

The vessel was found drifting in calm waters approximately 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) east of Rowley Shoals inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone. The crew was missing. There was no evident reason for the abandonment: no signs of distress were found, and the crew’s personal effects remained on board.

The High Aim 6 had plenty of fuel and provisions and no sign of a struggle could be found. Initial concerns that the ship had been carrying illegal immigrants were dismissed when the contents of the hold proved to be rotting fish. The ship was equipped for long-line fishing.

When the ship was first sighted five days before being boarded, its motor was running and it was underway. At the time of boarding, the engine was dead and the rudder was locked.

The High Aim 6 was towed to Broome, where subsequent forensic examination was conducted. Despite a search of some 7,300 nautical miles (13,500 km; 8,400 mi), no trace of crew was ever found.

Mutiny ! So they claim !

While the only member of the Indonesian crew who could be tracked down admitted that the captain Chen Tai-cheng (???) and the engineer Lin Chung-li (???) had been murdered, what happened exactly and the motive for the claimed mutiny remain unclear.