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Home / News / World /  Ship breaks in half and sinks during typhoon off Hong Kong. Watch rescue operation

Ship breaks in half and sinks during typhoon off Hong Kong. Watch rescue operation

In this image released by Hong Kong Government Flying Service, helicopter crew members winch up a man from a sinking ship in the South China Sea, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Hong Kong, Saturday, July 2, 2022, as Typhoon Chaba was moving in the area.  (Hong Kong Government Flying Service via AP)Premium
In this image released by Hong Kong Government Flying Service, helicopter crew members winch up a man from a sinking ship in the South China Sea, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Hong Kong, Saturday, July 2, 2022, as Typhoon Chaba was moving in the area.  (Hong Kong Government Flying Service via AP)

The chance of finding the 27 crew members alive from a vessel that snapped in two as tropical storm Chaba passed through Hong Kong and southern China is very slim, government rescue authorities said on Sunday, as the search for those missing continued.

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An industrial support ship operating in the South China Sea sunk in a storm with the possible loss of more than two dozen crew members, rescue services in Hong Kong said Saturday.

The chance of finding the 27 crew members alive from a vessel that snapped in two as tropical storm Chaba passed through Hong Kong and southern China is "very slim", the authorities said on Sunday, as the search for those missing continued.

Earlier, the authorities dispatched planes and helicopters to aid in the rescue, with at least three people from the crew of 30 brought to safety as of 5:30 p.m. (1030 GMT) Saturday.

Photos released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service showed one crew member being winched up to a rescue helicopter as big waves lashed the sinking vessels, which had broken up in two parts.

The site of the incident was surrounded by about 100 wind turbines that, compounded with gusts reaching up to 140 km per hour, had hampered rescue efforts.

The search area had been widened but the chance of finding survivors was "very slim", West Wu, controller of the Government Flying Service of Hong Kong, said on Sunday.

Hong Kong sent nine aircraft to jointly conduct search and rescue operations with forces from the mainland.

Some of the crew had likely abandoned the vessel as it snapped in two, the surviving crew members told authorities.

Chaba skirted the global financial hub, bringing heavy rain and winds on Friday and Saturday, restricting public transport and forcing many businesses to close.

Authorities in Hong Kong raised the typhoon warning on Thursday just as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the city to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its handover from Britain to China.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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