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Rescue

Dozens of crew in danger as ship sinks in storm off Hong Kong

Crew members were negotiating difficulties brought on by Severe Tropical Storm Chaba.

AN INDUSTRIAL SUPPORT ship operating in the South China Sea has sunk with the possible loss of more than two dozen crew members, rescue services in Hong Kong said on Saturday.

Authorities sent planes and helicopters to help the rescue, with at least three people from the crew of 30 taken to safety as of 5.30pm local time (11.30am Irish time) today.

The accident happened about 186 miles south of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Flying Service did not give the name or origin of the vessel.

It said in a statement that crew members were negotiating difficulties brought on by Severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which was packing maximum winds of 68 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to make landfall in the western part of the coastal province of Guangdong later today.

The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters.

Three people had been rescued as of 3:00pm local time (07am Irish time) and were taken to hospital for treatment, authorities said.

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.

The three survivors said other crew members may have been swept away by waves before the first helicopter arrived, according to a government statement.

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