Chinese boat heads home 57 years on
A vintage Chinese fishing boat is going home to Taiwan more than a half-century after it crossed the ocean and landed on the US west coast.
The Free China, a commercial vessel built about 100 years ago and thought to be one of the last salvageable boats of its kind, was loaded onto a Taiwanese freighter in Oakland, California, on Monday for the return leg of its journey.
Dione Chen, the daughter of one of the six men who sailed the junk to the US during a 1955 yacht race and made headlines with their daring aboard the provocatively named Free China, says the Taiwan government plans to restore the boat and place it in a new maritime museum.
Chen, who lobbied to save the historic junk from a demolition yard, joined surviving crew members and members of the preservation effort aboard a small sail boat to bid the junk bon voyage as a crane lifted it onto the Yang Ming freighter for its 18-day trip.