A crew member who was thrown into the water is lifted onto a rescue boat. [Photo/China Daily]
A helicopter and 30 vessels were sent to help rescue missing sailors when two ships collided in the Lingdingyang channel at the mouth of the Pearl River early on Monday.
By 4 pm, 12 people remained missing, according to a news release from the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration on Monday.
The Fujian-registered bulk cargo ship Shunjinlong collided with a Jiangsu-registered vessel, Jinzelun, at about 3 am.
Jinzelun, which was carrying more than 5,000 metric tons of sand, sank. Two of the 14 sailors aboard were rescued, while 12 others were missing. Shunjinlong was carrying 5,038 tons of steel products. All 11 sailors aboard were rescued.
The safety administration organized a rescue effort immediately after the incident was reported.
Temporary traffic controls have been in effect in the waters where the collision occurred.
Rescuers warned other ships passing by to pay special attention to navigation safety and keep away from the scene while rescue work is underway.
Li Xi, Party chief of Guangdong province, has urged departments and rescuers involved to do what they can to rescue the victims and try to keep casualties to a minimum. Officials have also arrived at the scene and at the rescue headquarters to help organize the rescue work.
An investigation of the incident is in progress, the news release said.
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