Yilan school children set sail for Ishigaki Island

2018/05/01 21:04:55 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Yilan school children set sail for Ishigaki Island

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) School children from an elementary school in Yilan, recently in the news after finding a camera lost by a Japanese student two years ago, set out in a sail boat from the county's Su'ao Port for Ishigaki Island in Japan Tuesday.

The students, who have received many months of sailing related training, are expected to cover the 250 kilometers in about 23 hours.

The county's Yueming Elementary School received a lot of media coverage in recent months after one of its students, Ho Chao-en (何兆恩), a fifth grader, found a camera on a beach in Taiwan's Su'ao Township on March 27, after it was lost at sea more than two years previously in waters off Ishigaki Island.

Ho's homeroom teacher Park Lee (李公元) later posted a message on his Facebook page with a few carefully selected photos from the camera, to see if the owner could be located.

With the help of netizens across the internet, Serina Tsubakihara, a university student in Tokyo, was quickly found.

Tsubakihara visited the school Friday where she was given the camera and returned to Japan earlier this week.

The six students who embarked on the journey to Ishigaki Island are Ho, sixth graders Wang Kuan-chih (王冠智), Lin Le (林樂) and Li Yun-chen (李昀宸), fifth grader Lin Yu-cheng (林育誠) and fourth grader Yu Chien-hui (俞芊卉).

The students are accompanied by several sailing instructors and other adults.

If they complete the journey the students will become the youngest sailors to ever make the journey from Taiwan to Ishigaki.

Some of the student's parents are in another vessel that will make the journey with them.

Ho said he and his schoolmates have prepared for a long time and are confident they can meet any challenge while at sea.

During an interview, Yu's mother said that although she is worried she still encouraged her daughter to embark on the trip and overcome its challenges.

Yueming's principal Huang Chien-jung (黃建榮) said preparations for the journey started a year ago, adding that the six students have already undergone rigorous training in the open sea.

The students are expected to reach their destination Wednesday and will conduct exchanges with local students. They will later board a plane for Hong Kong to compete in a friendly sailing competition with students there, Huang said,

The six students are expected to return to Taiwan Sunday, he added.

(By Worthy Shen and William Yen)

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