12 bodies found around Chinese ship sank by Typhoon Chaba

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Search and rescue officials have retrieved 12 bodies from the area where a Chinese ship was split in half and sank by a typhoon, while a fourth sailor was reported to have been rescued, authorities announced Monday.

The engineering vessel Fujing001 and its 30-person crew were doing work on wind power projects when the vessel was caught in Typhoon Chaba on Saturday and was cut in half.

China’s Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Center said the identity of the bodies was still confirmed and the rescued sailor was in “normal physical condition”.

The Hong Kong government’s flight service rescued the first three survivors.

Cyrus Seto, an air crew officer who took part in the search on Saturday, told RTHK on Monday that the rescue was very difficult and the team had to improvise their tactics.

“The ship was tilted too hard, so there was nowhere for us to stand,” Szeto said. “We usually raise each survivor one by one, but since we didn’t have time, we raised the survivors together, including me, all at once.”

Wing Li, a service helicopter pilot, told RTHK they would not give up on the search and rescue mission.

“There have been previous cases of you being able to get survivors back after a while like this one,” he told me. “So we will do our best.”

The search and rescue range had expanded to the northeast, Lee said, adding that it was “difficult to accurately calculate the likely location of missing crew members” as winds continued to change course.

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Vic Chang from Taipei contributed to this report.

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