1969年3月，23岁的美国退伍海军士兵Timothy Pierson在香港购买了一艘改造过的救生艇"EILEAN DUBH"号，打算经由台湾、日本把船开回美国，他还从加州叫来同岁的女青年Hinkle作为助手同行。7月14日早上9点他们从香港出海试航，不幸的是到晚上9点15分就撞上一艘未开灯的货船，导致桅杆受损，Pierson决定立刻返回香港。但他显然是迷航了，闯入属于中国大陆当局的海域，到7月15日下午1点钟被中共一艘武装船只拦截，并被拖到一个名叫To Ning的小岛，直到7月23日被放回香港，期间他们被扣留在自己的船上，食物也是靠船上原有的补给。
Ref: GEN/13/443/1 SpeciaL Branch,
Royal Hong Kong Police
1st August, 1969.
THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF
BY THE CHTNESE PEOPLE'S GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES
WHEN THEY WERE SAILING THEIR BOAT,
THE "EILEAN DUBH" OUTSIDE COLONY WATERS
Mr. PIERSON, 23 years, unemployed, an American citizen and holder of U.S.A. Passport No. Z989073, issued in Hong Kong on the 29th May, 1969, arrived in Hong Kong on 6th March,1969. Shortly after his arrival in the Colony he purchased a converted lifeboat, the "EILEAN DUBH", with the eventual intention of sailing it back to the United States, via Taiwan and Japan.
2. Debreana Christine HINKLE, 23 years, an unemployed American citizen and holder of U.S.A. Passport No. G269235, issued in San Luis, Obispo, California on the 14th April, 1966, arrived in Hong Kong on 6th June, 1969. She came to Hong Kong to assist PIERSON to sail his boat to the U.S.A.
THE EVENS DURING THE PERIOD 14th - 23rd JULY, 1969
Passage to Pedro Blanco
3. At 0900 hours on the 14th July, PIERSON and HINKLE left Hebe Haven Yacht Club on a trial cruise, under sail, to Pedro Blanco (Lat. 22°19'N Long. 115° 7' 18" E). Their cruise proceeded without incident, until 2115 hours when they collided with a three masted Hok Lo trading junk (position unknown, PIERSON being unable to fix his position or estimate his distance covered) that was running without lights. The junk did not stop and the "EILEAN DUBH" sustained damage to her bowsprit and mast. Immediately after the collision PIERSQN decided to return to Hong Kong and proceeded, on a course of 270° (T), at approximately four knots, until O400 hours on the 15th July, 1969. At this time PIERSON thought that he was off the Nine Pin group (Grid ref: KV 2663) and hove-to, to wait for daybreak, before proceeding further. At 0600 hours the "EILEAN DUBH" resumed a course of 270° (T), PIERSON then reckoned his position to be south of San Men (Grid ref: KV 5783), but discovered later that it was somewhere south-west of Fo Kai Point (Grid ref: KV 8496).
Interception by the Communist Authorities
4. At 1300 hours on the 15th July, 1969 the "EILEAN DUBH" was stopped by a Chinese junk, armed with a "50 calibre" machine gun mounted forward, and manned by eight armed men, who were dressed in blue trousers, khaki jackets with red collar flashes, and wearing khaki caps with red star badges (type unknown). The "EILEAN DVBH" was quickly boarded by two of the men and taken in tow by the junk. The reason for stopping and boarding was not explained to the Americans as none of the junk's crew could speak English. After an hour's tow, at a speed of between 6 and 7 knots they arrived at To Ning Island (Grid ref: KV 5686), where the "EILEAN DUBH" was secured alongside the escort junk, which was itself moored alongside several other boats at the quay.
Detention at To Ning Island
5. At To Ning, the "EILEAN DUBH" was boarded by several other members of the crew of the armed junk, who, using a young boy as an interpreter, questioned PIERSON and HINKLE regarding their identities and destination. They were also informed that they had been detained by members of the local Public Security Force (probably Public Security Bureau). As the young boy was only barely able to make himself understood, PIERSON and HINKLE were questioned only briefly, and for the rest of the day they were kept below decks on their own vessel under guard. During the night the Public Security Bureau guard left the "EILEAN DUBH" and maintained a watch from the junk alongside, occasionally flashing a torch through the porthole of the Americans' vessel, to ensure that everything was correct.
6. At about 0900 hours on the 16tn July, 1969, the Americans' boat was boarded by an interrogation team consisting of:
(a) An interrogator - apparently a civilian who appeared to be in charge;
(b) An interrogator - apparently an army officer; and
(c) An interpreter.
7. PIERSON and HINKLE, who were interrogated separately and in a friendly manner, were advised to tell the truth and give a full account of their antecedents and reasons for entering Chinese waters. This they did, explaining that their intrusion into Chinese waters was as a result of an error in navigation, on their part. The interrogation periods lasted from 1 1/2 to 3 hours at a time and both PIERSON and HINKLE were interrogated once a day between the 16th and 21st July, either aboard their own boat or aboard the junk to which they were secured. At one interrogation session PIERSON admitted previous service in the United States Navy between 1963 and 1966, aboard the U.S.S. Providence, a guided missile cruiser. He told his interrogators that he was a seaman aboard the ship and the matter was not pursued.
8. At the first interrogation session PIERSON and HINKLE handed over their passports as well as their vessel's log book and charts. These were retained by the Chinese Authorities until shortly before their release.
9. Other points of interest that arose during the period of their detention are:-
(a) On the 18th or 19th July, PIERSON and HINKLE were photographed aboard their boat. Photographs were also taken of the interior of the vessel;
(b) A portable radio and tape recorder were removed for examination shortly after their arrival;
(c) Their vessel was thoroughly searched on five or six occasions;
(d) They were never interrogated late in the evening or at night; and
(e) although imperialism and Soviet revisionism were briefly discussed and condemned by their interrogators, no attempt was made to indoctrinate them.
10. On the 22nd July, 1969 both PIERSON and HINKLE were asked to write a confession admitting their intrusion into Chinese waters, acknowledging their good treatment during detention and promising not to repeat the offence. This confession was re-written several times until its contents satisfied their interrogators. A copy of the pen-ultimate draft is at annexure 'A'.
RETURN TO HONG KONG
11. At 0800 hours on the 23rd July 1969, the Americans were boarded by their interrogators and told to sign a receipt for their equipment, passports and charts, which were then all returned to them. At 0830 hours PIERSON was told to apply in writing to the Public Security Offices for permission to sail. This he did.
12. At 1030 hours three 'Militiamen' replaced the Public Security Guard aboard their vessel. PIERSON was told to get under way and escorted by a junk, was taken to a position off Mirs Point (Grid ref: KV 4285). On arrival at Mirs Point, at 1200 hours, the junk came alongside the "EILEAN DUBH", removed the militiamen and allowed the Americans to go. PIERSON then sailed the "EILEAN DUBH" to Hong Kong. Just off Shelter Island (Grid ref: KV 2171) he was sighted by Police Marine Launch No. 37 which escorted him to Hebe Haven.
TREATMENT BY THE CHINESE AUTHORITIES
13. PIERSON and HINKLE consider that they were reasonably well treated at To Ning Island. They were neither medically examined nor required medical attention during their period of detention and although their boat was searched thoroughly they were not themselves subjected to a body search. They were restricted to their own vessel and fed themselves from their own supplies. They had no contact with the local inhabitants, who were obviously aware of their presence.
OBSERVATIONS IN TO NING
14. PIERSON described the harbour, in which they were detained, as being similar to Hebe Haven (Pak Sha Wan). It was a natural harbour with a small village (population approximately 100). At no time were there more than six to ten junks in the harbour and during the period of their detention they saw no military or naval craft.
15. They saw no fortifications or military buildings in the area with the exception of a small, apparently unoccupied, blockhouse on a nearby hill. The only military seen (date unknown) were some thirty soldiers marching along a path on the other side of the bay. On one day (date unknown) they heard small arms fire, from which they concluded that there may have been a practice range nearby.
16. It would appear that the Chinese People's Government are constantly alert for the presence of foreign vessels in their territorial waters. However, their attitude in this case seems to indicate that, subject to being quickly satisfied regarding intruders bona fides and motives, they will not detain them longer than necessary. In this connection, eight days is a relatively short period considering communications difficulties and the need to seek a decision from higher authority.