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13 remain missing from shipwreck as rescue work ends
Updated: 2005-12-26 08:58

Local maritime authorities had to wrap up rescue efforts after more than one day's search without any finding of the 13 missing sailors from a east China sea shipwreck.

"The hope for the survival of the missing sailors is very slim. It's sad, but human beings could hardly survive in freezing sea water for these long hours," said an official from Shandong maritime bureau in the eastern Shandong province who declined to be named.

He said the bureau had phased out salvage work since late night Thursday and by Friday afternoon no bodies had been found yet.

The cargo, registered in eastern Zhejiang province, capsized in high winds at around 8 p.m. Wednesday when it tried to anchor at Longkou Port of Yantai. All the 14 Chinese crew members on board fell into the water, and only one was rescued by local rescuers.

It was carrying 3,400 tons of clay from Shantou of southern Guangdong Province to Laizhou of Shandong before it sunk.

The shipwreck came days after maritime salvage team of Yantai announced an advanced vessel had been applied for maritime rescue.

The 77-meter ship was reported to cost 120 million yuan for manufacture. It was equipped with GPS satellite navigating system, electronic maritime map, and was able to sail 5,000 sea miles for one time, the salvage officials said.

Bohai Bay provides major water routes linking the northeastern heavy industrial base of Liaoning, Shandong peninsular, and industrial belt around Tianjin. But the area was notorious for frequent shipwreck due to special weather and geological conditions.

On Nov. 24, 1999, 282 passengers were drowned as a ship carrying 304 people capsized near Yantai, which was the most serious shipwreck in China since 1949.

Earlier this month, two shipwrecks were reported in the area, leaving five fishermen missing.

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