Chinese scientific research ship leaves for exploration



Chinese scientific research ship leaves for exploration Beijing: Chinese research vessel Dayang Yihao today kicked off the country's 26th oceanic expedition mission which included exploration of Indian oceans as it left the city of Sanya in China's southernmost island province of Hainan.

The 370-day, 41,000-nautical-mile global voyage will take the vessel across the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, including waters near Somalia.

The crew has been trained to cope with possible pirate attacks, the vessel's captain Cao Yezheng said.

"We have 12 contingency plans to tackle pirate threats," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Tao Chunhui, the chief scientist of the 492-strong expedition team, said they will conduct a series of oceanic surveys mainly on polymetallic sulphide, bio-resources and the environment.

Last year China has a signed a contract with the International Seabed Authority, (ISA) to gain rights to explore polymetallic sulphide ore deposit in Indian Ocean over the next 15 years.

Last year China has a signed a contract with the International Seabed Authority, (ISA) to gain rights to explore polymetallic sulphide ore deposit in Indian Ocean over the next 15 years.

The vessel carries advanced scientific instruments, including a remotely-operated underwater vehicle, said Tao.

Last year, Dayang Yihao completed a 369-day scientific research mission that covered more than 64,000 nautical miles, or about three times the length of the equator.

The global trip took it across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean It will anchor in Cyprus, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa and Mauritius to get supplies before its scheduled return to Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong on May 2, 2013.

PTI