Search underway for 22 crew members of S.Korean ship

Indo Asian News Service

Seoul, April 2 (IANS) Search and rescue efforts are underway to find 22 crew members of a South Korean ship that sank in the South Atlantic last week. Two sailors were safely picked up in a life raft, the Seoul government said on Sunday.

The search for the missing South Korean ship, the Stellar Daisy, began on Saturday, one day after the ship's crew sent a text to their South Korean employer, saying their ship was sinking, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The 266,000-tonne Stella Daisy, carrying eight South Korean and 16 Filipino sailors, departed from Rio de Janeiro on March 26.

The Marshall Islands-flagged ship was sailing near Uruguay when it made the distress call, according to the Foreign Ministry here.

Seoul's embassy in Brazil asked for assistance to find the missing crew with the Brazilian Air Force dispatching a C-130 plane to the site.

The escape raft carrying the two Filipino crew members was found drifting by commercial ships in the area.

Another raft and two powered lifeboats that can carry up to 30 people each were also discovered, but no one was on board.

Authorities said that all crew members probably were wearing their life vests.