Chinese puzzle for lifeguards

HONOLULU (AP) - Armed coastguards boarded a merchant vessel yesterday and were met by 400 cheering people - possibly smuggled immigrants - crammed into the hold.

The 310ft freighter East Wood was boarded without resistance near the Marshall Islands, 1,500 miles south-west of Hawaii. A distress call said hijackers had taken over the ship after it left Hong Kong for Taiwan, but a coast guard spokesman said the authorities suspected an attempt to smuggle people into the US.