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Dozens of crew are missing after ship sunk in tropical storm off Hong Kong

Tragedy at sea in Typhoon Chaba: Dozens of crew are missing after a huge ship broke in half and sunk off the coast of Hong Kong, while dramatic video shows one being towed just before sinking beneath the waves

  • Doomed Fujing 001 ship sank about 286 miles south of Hong Kong coast
  • Dramatic footage shows rescue teams in helicopters lifting survivors
  • Only three of the 30 crew members have been found so far

Dozens of crewmen are missing off the coast of Hong Kong after an industrial support ship broke in two and was sunk during a violent tropical storm.

Authorities sent planes and helicopters to assist in the rescue on Saturday, with at least three people from the crew of 30 being taken to safety as of 5.30pm local time (10am GMT).

Photos released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service showed a crew member being hoisted to a rescue helicopter as large waves hit the sinking ships, which had split into two parts.

The accident happened about 300 kilometers (186 mi) south of Hong Kong.

The Flying Service has not given the name or origin of the ship.

The Fujing 001 ship adrift after it snapped in two off the coast of Hong Kong, in China

The Fujing 001 ship adrift after it snapped in two off the coast of Hong Kong, in China

The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters to the rescue effort (Photo: aerial view of sinking ship)

The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters to the rescue effort (Photo: aerial view of sinking ship)

Helicopter crew members lift a man from a sinking ship in the South China Sea, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Hong Kong on Saturday

Helicopter crew members lift a man from a sinking ship in the South China Sea, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Hong Kong on Saturday

It said in a statement that crew members were negotiating difficulties caused by severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which had wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour.

The storm later made landfall in the western part of coastal Guangdong province on Saturday.

The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters to the Fujing 001 ship.

Chaba is China’s first typhoon of the year, which forecasters say will bring record rains and major natural disaster risks in densely populated Guandong.

Chaba is the Thai name for the hibiscus flower, and the storm is moving northwest at about 15-20 km/h, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement.

The center’s chief forecaster, Gao Shuanzhu, said there is a chance the storm will break the record for cumulative rainfall as it carries the monsoon rain belt inland.

He added: ‘The monsoon’s abundant water vapor will lead to torrential downpours and massive cumulative rainfall of an extreme nature’

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