Chinese freighter sinks off Philippines, 9 rescued

Manila-Nine people, including one Taiwanese, were rescued Tuesday from a sinking Chinese cargo ship in waters off the Philippines, according to Philippine police.

The freighter, the "Jin Ming 16," sent a message for help in waters about 300 meters off the coast of Northern Samar, said police in the central Philippines province.

The local Coast Guard decided to undertake the rescue mission after assessing weather and marine conditions, and it eventually rescued all nine people -- six Chinese, two Hong Kongers and one Taiwanese -- as the ship was still sinking.

The rescued were then settled in the home of the chief of Pambujan, a town in Northern Samar, after receiving health checks at a local hospital.

Citing a crew member of the ill-fated ship, the police said the vessel departed China for Chile on Dec. 12, but encountered rough weather on the way.

Strong winds and rough waves cracked its hull, causing water leaks in the cabins and engine room and limiting the ship's power.

After losing power, the vessel drifted until reaching the Pambujan coast, police said.

As of Wednesday morning, part of the Jin Ming 16's deck had sunk into the water while the vessel continued to tilt to the right.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel