25th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China

Ship sinks in storm off Hong Kong, rescuers search for dozens of missing crew members

HONG KONG (AP) — An industrial support ship operating in the South China Sea has sunk in a storm with the possible loss of more than two dozen crew members, rescue services in Hong Kong said Saturday.

Authorities dispatched planes and helicopters to aid in the rescue, with at least three people from the crew of 30 brought to safety as of 5:30 p.m. (1030 GMT) Saturday.

Photos released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service showed one crew member being winched up to a rescue helicopter as big waves lashed the sinking vessels, which had broken up in two parts.

Crew rescued from sinking ship as storm hits Hong Kong

Rescuers lift a crew member of a sinking vessel into a helicopter, after it snapped in two as tropical storm Chaba passed through, according to authorities, in waters off Hong Kong, China in this screen grab taken from a video July 2, 2022. Hong Kong Government Flying Service/Handout via Reuters.

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

The Flying Service did not give the name or origin of the vessel. It said in a statement that crew members were negotiating difficulties brought on by Severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which was packing maximum 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 aircraft and four helicopters for the rescue effort.

This is a developing story and will be updated.