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Ship sinks in storm off Hong Kong, dozens of crews at risk

HONG KONG (Reuters) – An industrial support vessel operating in the South China Sea sank in a storm with the possible loss of more than two dozen crew members, Hong Kong’s rescue services said on Saturday.

Authorities dispatched planes and helicopters to assist in the rescue, and at least three of the 30-person crew were brought to safety by 5:30 p.m. (1030 GMT) on Saturday.

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

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

The Flying Service did not give the ship’s name or origin. He said in a statement that crew members were negotiating hardship brought on by severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which was blowing peak winds of 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour.

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

The Hong Kong service sent two fixed-wing planes and four helicopters for the rescue effort.

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