Premier Li Keqiang returned on June 3, amid heavy rain, to direct search and rescue operations following the capsizing of the river cruise ship Eastern Star which was hit by a cyclone around 9:30 pm on June 1 in the Hubei section of the Yangtze River.
After a day of intense search and rescue operations on June 2, Li praised the courage of the divers and their professionalism.
In a makeshift tent Li met with divers who had searched for survivors for the previous 24 hours and said that the rescue teams are carrying the hopes of an entire nation.
He praised the divers’ dedication and said they should take care while conducting dangerous work in challenging conditions, but no effort must be spared in their mission to save lives.
Before boarding a vessel to take him to the scene, the Premier and those accompanying him bowed three times in memory of the victims and offered silent tribute.
Local government officials must provide the divers with adequate support to make sure they can carry on their work, Li said.
Vice-Premier Ma Kai and State Councilor Yang Jing accompanied Premier Li.