In the bleak spring of 1993, the stranding catastrophe of Golden Venture (金色冒险号) shocked whole America.
Golden Venture—a boat built in 1969 with a length of 45 meters—could not accommodate passengers because it was not equipped with living facilities.
In 1992, a trafficker surnamed Li bought the boat for transporting mainland stowaways into the United States by sea.
In February 1993, Golden Venture set sail with 90 stowaways on board, and about another 200 joined them in March when the ship got to Virginia Mombasa.
Then, the ship sailed into the Atlantic Ocean through the Cape of Good Hope. By May 1993, it reached the open water of New York Queens. At that time, the boat had a total of 13 crew members and 286 stowaways from mainland China, which included some 24 females. They were mostly from Fuzhou, Southeast China's Zhejiang province.
The original plan was that a contact in New York would bring a yacht to pick the passengers in the high seas. However, unexpectedly, the contact got killed in a gang fight, and Golden Venture had to wait for a total of two weeks on the sea.
When they were running out of food and water, the trafficker decided to let all people swim for beaches. In the early hours of June 6, Golden Venture finally approached the Rockaway beach of the Queens (皇后区). The 286 stowaways jumped into the sea to swim to the beach. The coast guards soon spotted them and began to make arrests. It was finally found out that 10 got drowned, six escaped and all the rest put under arrest.
Twenty years after the rusty steamer Golden Venture ran aground only kilometers from New York, exposing a bustling underworld of human smuggling, a woman who federal officials say was a vicious ringleader of the operation completed her own voyage from Asia to America.【More】