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HK chopper crew saves Chinese crew off Macau amid typhoon

HK chopper crew saves Chinese crew off Macau amid typhoon
Hong Kong's first major typhoon claimed yet another ship but the bravery of the territory's renowned helicopter rescue service helped prevent loss of life.

Local media reported that a daring nighttime operation in the early hours of Tuesday morning as the Signal 8 typhoon was raging rescued the crew of the general cargo vessel Hao Jun as it lost power in Chinese waters about 10nm southwest of Macau.

The master had given an abandon ship order as it was taking on water and in danger of sinking, the Government Flying Service was quoted as saying. The Super Puma helicopter was sent out after Guangdong maritime rescue authorities sought help from their Hong Kong counterparts.

The chopper crew had to deal with 10 m waves and 50 knot winds as they tried to pluck them off the ship, reports said. The entire operation took about an hour and the 14 crew were then airlifted to Hong Kong.The Hong Kong Observatory had raised the No 8 signal, indicating a strong typhoon, at 2230hrs as Typhoon Kalmaegi barrelled towards Guangdong and Hainan island, bringing with it gusts of up to 80 knots.

Meanwhile later the same morning just before 0500hrs, another helicopter was deployed to rescue an 11-man crew on board a barge that had run aground in the same area but as the seas had calmed significantly by this time, they were able to be rescued by another vessel.

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