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China moves to ensure safe sea-travel during Spring Festival

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Seventy-two salvage ships and 20 helicopters have been deployed in China's coastal waters to ensure travel safety at sea during the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year.

Spring Festival is the most important occasion for family gatherings and falls on Feb. 16 this year. The peak travel period around the festival, known as Chunyun, will last for 40 days from Feb. 1 to Mar. 12, as many Chinese people return to their hometowns.

Du Haipeng, an official in charge of salvage work with the Ministry of Transport, said that Bohai Bay, the Taiwan Strait and the Qiongzhou Strait usually had the most passengers during this period.

Twenty large salvage ships and 12 helicopters have been posted to these waters.

The Ministry has also deployed salvage ships in case of emergencies in areas where cargo freight is heavy and fisheries active, such as the estuaries of the Yangtze and the Pearl rivers, and waters off Zhoushan Island.

To prevent ice blockage in the Bohai Sea, three large salvage ships have been readied.

As the number of travelers going to Taiwan by sea is expected to rise this Spring Festival, Du said that the ministry had sent two large salvage ships and three helicopters to waters off Xiamen City in east China's Fujian Province.

Another 50 vessels and 10 emergency squads are standing by. Nearly 4,000 personnel will take shifts to monitor river and sea transport 24 hours a day during the Spring Festival.

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