BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping has demanded an all-out rescue effort after Typhoon Wutip sank fishing boats near the Xisha Islands on Sunday, leaving 74 people missing.
In a special instruction given after the incident, Xi urged local authorities to do their utmost to find the missing or stranded and minimize casualties.
Xi also ordered the armed forces and central government departments to help in the rescue.
Premier Li Keqiang made similar call in a separate instruction. He also asked local authorities to ensure the safety of rescue personnel.
Efforts should be made to investigate potential safety risks brought by Wutip, relocate personnel threatened by the typhoon, and help fishing boats return to the harbor safely, Li said.
A total of 74 people have been confirmed missing after three fishing boats sunk in the typhoon, according to the Hainan maritime search and rescue center.
Altogether five fishing boats, all from south China's Guangdong Province with a total of 171 people aboard, were caught by Typhoon Wutip.
The boats were lost on Sunday afternoon as they attempted to navigate gales near the Xisha Islands. As of Monday noon, rescuers had found 14 survivors, the sources said.