The coastguards of Japan and South Korea were on Wednesday searching for eight crew members from a cargo ship that sank between the two countries, after 14 others were rescued.
“A total of 14 have been rescued,” a Japanese Coast Guard spokesman told AFP.
“We don’t know their condition and nationality yet,” he added, declining to be named.
He said six of the crew were rescued by the South Korean Coast Guard, which assisted the operation.
Eleven of those rescued so far were “unconscious,” the Jeju Coast Guard told AFP, adding that the rescued crew members were transported to Japan’s southwest Nagasaki.
The Jin Tian sent out a distress signal late Tuesday night from a position about 110 kilometers (68 mi) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Islands in Japan’s far southwest.
Three private vessels were in the area and helped pick up some of the stranded crew members, the Japan Coast Guard said.
A Japanese Coast Guard plane and two ships were on the scene, with more Japanese and South Korean ships en route, officials from both countries said.
The ship’s captain used a satellite phone to tell South Korean coast guard officials that he and the crew would abandon the sinking ship in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Jeju Coast Guard said.
Contact with the crew was then broken.
Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that the country’s coast guard cooperated with South Korean authorities during the rescue mission.
The misfortune came as a cold snap hit much of Asia, with daytime temperatures on some of the Japanese islands closest to the rescue site reaching just three degrees Celsius.
The 6,651-ton Jin Tian is registered in Hong Kong and the crew on board consisted of 14 Chinese nationals and eight people from Myanmar, the Japan Coast Guard said.
In 2020, a cargo ship with 43 crew members and 6,000 cattle on board sank off the coast of southwestern Japan after being swept up in a typhoon. Two crew members survived.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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