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5 Thai crew members missing after ship sinks near southwest Taiwan

Coast Guard rescued 5 other Thai sailors shortly after the disaster

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The Coast Guard found an empty life raft in the search for 5 Thai crew members of a sinking freighter 

The Coast Guard found an empty life raft in the search for 5 Thai crew members of a sinking freighter  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five Thai crew members were still missing Saturday (Oct. 24) evening after their Tuvalu-registered freighter sank near Kaohsiung the previous evening.

The ship’s engines reportedly suffered problems before the Seatran Ferry 12 went down in rough seas 30 nautical miles west of Kaohsiung before 11 p.m. Friday (Oct. 23), CNA reported.

A tugboat had arrived on the scene to try and tow the ship to safety, but the attempt failed due to rough weather in the area. The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) sent eight ships to track down survivors, and they found five crew members, reportedly all Thai nationals. Two of them were bleeding, requiring an immediate transfer to a hospital in Kaohsiung.

Saturday morning, they found an empty life raft that might have been launched by other sailors from the ship, but there was no sign of any survivors nearby. The ship itself had also not been located, the CGA said.