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Hopes fade for missing crew in rough South China Sea

Article-Hopes fade for missing crew in rough South China Sea

Hopes fade for missing crew in rough South China Sea

Manila:  Coast guard rescuers from China, Taiwan and the Philippines battled rough seas and fierce wind Sunday to search for up to 10 crewmen from a cargo ship that sank Friday. At least 14 others have been rescued, officials said.
The 27,996-ton Hong Wei sent a distress call that was picked up by the Japanese coast guard before sinking Friday in the high seas between Taiwan and the northern Philippines, Filipino coast guard chief Wilfredo Tamayo said.
A passing Chinese cargo ship plucked 12 sailors from the rough sea while a Taiwanese coast guard helicopter rescued two others, he said.
Taiwan's coast guard on Saturday reported that 16 crewmen have been rescued and eight others remain missing. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the reports of the two coast guards.
Rescue teams aboard ships and planes from China, Taiwan and the Philippines were jointly searching for the missing crewmen of the Panamanian-registered ship, Tamayo said. Their efforts were hampered by monsoon wind and big waves, he said.
An oil slick has been sighted near where the ship was believed to have sunk but it was too far from land to affect any coastal community, he said.
The ship was carrying iron ore from Indonesia to Dalian port in northeastern China when it sank midway due to still-unknown causes, Taiwanese officials said. [06/12/10]

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