GUANGZHOU, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Three people were dead and four others are missing after a Vietnamese vessel sank amid strong gales in South China Sea late Friday.
The coal transport vessel with seven crewmen on board was confirmed to have sunk at around 9:30 p.m. Friday on the seawaters about 22 nautical miles southwest of Fangcheng Port, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the South China Sea Rescue Bureau under China's Ministry of Transport.
The bureau said it immediately dispatched a special rescue vessel to the site at around 8 p.m. Friday after being notified that the ship was in danger of sinking.
The rescue vessel, "Nanhaijiu 196", arrived at the site where the Vietnamese ship sank amid winds of up to 90 km per hour in the early hours of Saturday and began the search and rescue work.
A rescue helicopter of the bureau also flew to the site to help the rescue early Saturday.
As of midday Saturday, rescuers had found three bodies near the sinking site. The four others remained missing.