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Seafarers saved after cargo ship sinks in rough weather

Thirteen seafarers were rescued after they jumped into the sea on the afternoon of 30 November, after a 2008-built general cargo ship, Yu Sheng 788, began sinking amid strong wind and rough waters off Ningbo, China.

Yu Sheng 788 was carrying some containers from Xiamen to Shantou, both within China.

The crew had sent out a distress message, saying that the Yu Sheng 788 cabin was flooded, before abandoning Yu Sheng 788 and jumping into the water. The message, relayed by the local maritime safety administration, was picked up by Xue Junfa, the captain of a nearby general cargo ship, Yongda 99, which sped towards the Yu Sheng 788 crew.

The choppy waters meant that Yongda 99 took 40 minutes to approach the Yu Sheng 788 seafarers. Xue had informed the five crewmen on Yongda 99 to carefully observe the waters to look out for the distressed seafarers.

Not long after, Xue and his crew spotted the Yu Sheng 788 seafarers huddled on a life raft 20 metres away. Xue and his crew tossed life buoys and lifelines to the Yu Sheng 788 seafarers, and after more than a dozen difficult attempts and falling into the water several times, the distressed men managed to tie the life-saving appliances around their waists.

The Yu Sheng 788 seafarers were brought aboard Yongda 99 and in the evening, were handed over to maritime safety officials.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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