Chinese boat heads home 57 years after US landing
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A vintage Chinese fishing boat is going home to Taiwan more than a half-century after it crossed the ocean and landed in the San Francisco Bay area.
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 on Monday for the return leg of its journey.
Dione Chen, the daughter of one of the six men who sailed the junk to California during a 1955 yacht race and made headlines with their daring voyage 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.