Japan saves 64 Chinese seamen from burning freighter
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's Coast Guard on Sunday saved all 64 Chinese seamen from their burning cargo ship, as the two nations remain locked in an acrimonious dispute over contested islands.
The coast guard was alerted by Taiwan authorities late on Saturday about a fire on the 12,703-ton Ming Yang and sent patrol vessels and aircraft to the scene, around 150km southeast of Okinawa.
By 2:30 am Sunday a Japanese coast guard ship had saved 21 people who escaped on a life raft, while 43 others remained on the deck of the burning freighter, registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
All of the Chinese seamen were rescued by 3:47 am, with three of them suffering minor injuries, the coastguard said.