3 dead, 4 missing after Vietnamese cargo ship sinks in South China Sea

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Map of China with the Guangxi autonnomous region highlighted.

A Vietnamese coal transport ship sank in the South China Sea on Friday killing three people on board, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

The ship sank 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the Fangcheng Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The Nanhaijiu 196 rescue vessel was dispatched about 8 pm local time, when authorities were notified that the ship may sink. The coal transport ship sank about 9:30pm Friday. There were winds up to 90 kilometers per hour when the ship sank during a gale.

Saturday morning rescue operations were supplemented by a rescue helicopter. There were a total of seven crew members on board. Four are missing, while three bodies have been recovered by the South China Sea Rescue Bureau.