Japan: Rescuers search for 13 missing crew members after ship collision

Japanese coast guard rescuers were searching Sunday for at least 13 crew members missing after a Hong Kong freighter and a Chinese fishing boat collided in the high seas off southern Japan, officials said. Hong Kong-registered Shinyo Sawako and fishing vessel Lurongyu 2177 collided Friday night in the East China Sea, about 350 kilometers west of the southern island of Kyushu, according to Japan Coast Guard. Three people died in the accident, a Japanese regional coast guard official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol. Rescuers on Japanese patrol vessel Osumi arrived at the site early Sunday to start the search operation, joined by a Chinese maritime survey ship, the official said, adding that two more Chinese vessels were on their way to the scene. He said Japanese officials, who received the initial accident report from South Korean coast guard via maritime safety radio, did not know the cause of the accident or the extent of damage to the vessels.