Maritime rescue workers save a victim from drowning during a drill in Shanghai in June. CHEN FEI/XINHUA A national political adviser has suggested improvements to China's maritime search and rescue system, including drafting legislation. Cheng Ping made the proposal on Saturday in a speech to the ongoing session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. Since President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, there has been more international cooperation as China adopts the concept of building a stronger country on the sea, according to Cheng, a CPPCC National Committee member and director of transportation safety for the Ministry of Transport. The country has seen an increasing number of deepsea operations, a growing demand for maritime transport and more distress incidents, she said, adding that this means maritime search and rescue operations are needed to serve the State strategy and people's needs. Cheng suggested raising awareness and upgrading procedures to better serve the State's needs, such as improving the interministry conference system regarding maritime search and rescue operations and emergency response for maritime oil spills. She also suggested innovating to enhance the professional abilities of rescue teams and proposed drafting a law or regulation about maritime searches and rescues. Maritime search and rescue teams always attract attention after tragedies, but their jobs are to mitigate the effects of a tragedy and provide hope for people in distress, she said. According to Cheng, China's professional search and rescue teams have rescued 75,543 people and 5,108 distressed vessels in the past 67 years. The January collision of the Panama-registered, Iranian-owned oil tanker Sanchi and the cargo ship CF Crystal in the East China Sea - and the subsequent fire - prompted a renewed push for changes. I was not scared when I boarded the Sanchi. I was trained to rescue people, or at least recover their bodies, Lu Jun said in an earlier interview. Lu, 50, from the Shanghai Salvage Bureau, is an experienced diver and rescuer. The deepest he has dived is 120 meters. China's maritime search and rescue teams rescued 227 people during typhoons last year and helped to recover wreckage of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol. luowangshu@chinadaily.com.cn wristbands canada
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