Japan and South Korea’s coast guards were exploring Wednesday for eight crew from a cargo ship that sank between the two countries after 14 others were rescued. “A total of 14 have been rescued,” a spokesman for the Japanese coast guard. “We don’t know their condition and nationalities yet,” he added, refusing to be named.
He said six crew had been recovered by South Korea’s coast guard, helping the operation.
Eleven of the rescued crew members were “unconscious,” the Jeju Coast Guard said, adding that they are being transported to Nagasaki in southwestern Japan. The Jin Tian sent a despair signal late on Tuesday evening from a position around 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo islands in far southwestern Japan.
Japan’s coast guard said that three private ships were in the area and helped pick up several stranded crew members. Officials from both countries said that a Japanese coast guard plane and two ships were at the scene, with additional Japanese and South Korean vessels en route. Jeju Coast Guard officials said the ship’s captain and crew abandoned the sinking ship in the early hours of Wednesday morning using a satellite phone. Contact with the crew was then lost. Japan’s government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that the country’s coast guard cooperated with South Korean authorities in the rescue mission.
The accident came as a cold snap hit much of Asia, with daytime temperatures in some Japanese islands near the rescue site reaching just three degrees Celsius. A crew of 14 Chinese nationals and eight Myanmarese people were aboard the 6,651-ton Jin Tian, which is registered in Hong Kong. Following a typhoon in 2020, a cargo ship with 43 crew members and 6,000 cattle sank off southwestern Japan. Two crew stayed.
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