An engineering vessel that was 160 nautical miles southwest of Hong Kong “suffered substantial damage and broke into two pieces” and the 30-member crew abandoned the ship, according to the Hong Kong Government Flying Service.
More than two dozen crew members are unaccounted for after their ship broke into two during a typhoon in the South China Sea on Saturday, with rescuers scrambling to find them, officials say.
Three people had been rescued as of 3:00 pm local time (0700 GMT) and were taken to hospital for treatment, authorities said.
Rescuers in Hong Kong were notified of the incident at 7:25 am local time (2325 GMT on Friday) and found the ship near Chaba’s centre, where harsh weather conditions and nearby wind farms made the operation “more difficult and dangerous”.
The Government Flying Service dispatched two sorties of fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopter sorties, with mainland Chinese authorities also dispatching a rescue boat.
Rescuers said they would increase the search area “due to the large number of people missing” and extend the operation into the night if conditions allowed.