Over 2 dozen crew members missing in shipwreck during South China Sea typhoon

Over 2 dozen crew members missing in shipwreck during South China Sea typhoon

Officials said that more than a dozen crew members are still missing after their ship broke into two on Saturday during a storm in the South China Sea. Rescuers are frantically trying to locate them.

According to the Hong Kong Government Flying Service, an engineering vessel that was 160 nautical miles southwest of Hong Kong “suffered considerable damage and broke into two parts,” and the 30-member crew abandoned ship.

As of 3:00 p.m. local time (07:00 GMT), three persons had been saved and were transferred to a hospital for treatment, according to the police.

Dramatic footage provided by Hong Kong authorities showed a person being airlifted onto a helicopter while waves crashed over the deck of the semi-submerged ship below.

According to a government statement, the three survivors said that further crew members might have been carried off by waves prior to the arrival of the first helicopter.

Typhoon Chaba, which had earlier developed in the South China Sea’s center, made landfall in Guangdong province in southern China on Saturday afternoon.

At 7:25 a.m. local time (23:25 GMT on Friday), rescuers in Hong Kong got notification of the disaster. They discovered the ship close to Chaba’s center, where severe weather and neighboring wind farms made the operation “more difficult and risky.”

The ship’s location recorded wind speeds of 144 kilometres per hour and waves that were 10 metres high, authorities said.

Two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopter missions were sent by the Government Flying Service, while a rescue boat was sent by mainland Chinese authorities.

Rescuers announced that, if conditions permitted, they would extend the operation into the night and expand the search area “due to the lot of individuals missing.”

Text: OneCircleOFW Editorial

Photo Source: Gulf Today 

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