4 crew missing after cargo ship sinks off coast between Japan and South Korea Fourteen people have been rescued from the ship so far, the coast guards of the two countries said on Wednesday. News from AFP.

A spokesman for the Japanese coast guard, who did not want to be named, told AFP, ‘A total of 14 people have been rescued. We still don’t know their status and nationality. Six crew were rescued by the South Korean coast guard assisting in the operation.’

The Jeju Coast Guard told AFP that 11 of those rescued so far were “unconscious”. Rescued crew members are being flown to Nagasaki in southwestern Japan.

Jin Tian sent out a distress signal on Tuesday evening from a position about 110 kilometers west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Island in far southwest Japan.

Three private vessels were in the area and helped pick up some of the stranded crew members, the Japanese coast guard said.

A Japanese coast guard aircraft and two ships were at the scene, along with additional Japanese and South Korean ships, officials from both countries said.

The Jeju Coast Guard said the ship’s captain used a satellite phone to tell South Korean coast guard officials that he and the crew would abandon the sinking vessel early Wednesday morning.

Communication with the crew was then lost.

Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that the country’s coast guard was cooperating with South Korean authorities in the rescue operation.

The accident occurred as a cold snap hit much of Asia, with daytime temperatures reaching just three degrees Celsius on some Japanese islands near the rescue site. The 6,651-tonne Jin Tian is registered in Hong Kong and has a crew of 14 from China and eight from Myanmar, the Japanese coast guard said.

In 2020, a cargo ship carrying 43 crew and 6,000 cattle sank in southwest Japan after being hit by a typhoon.

(January 25)