Korean cargo ship vanishes in Uruguayan waters; 22 crew members missing

A South Korean cargo ship with a crew of 24 is missing in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,500 miles from Uruguay. It was traveling to China from Brazil and two people were rescued from life rafts after the distress call Friday. Screenshot/Google Maps

April 2 (UPI) — A South Korean cargo ship with 24 crew members on-board has disappeared about 1,500 miles off the coast of Uruguay.

The Stellar Daisy, a 266,000-ton ship owned by Polaris Shipping, was sailing from Brazil to China when it sent out a distress signal around noon Friday in the Atlantic Ocean, the Korean foreign ministry said Saturday.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said two Filipino crew members were found in a life raft and rescued. Other lifeboats were spotted empty and the ship’s 22 other crew members remain missing.

Built in 1993, the ship was carrying eight Koreans and 16 Filipino sailors when crew members texted their employer the vessel was sinking.

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“It is emergency,” the distress call said, according to Yonhap News Agency. “Water leakage at Port No. 2. (The ship is) slanting fast toward the port side.”

A ministry official said they “cannot rule out the possibility that the ship may have sunk.”

Seoul’s embassy in Brazil sought assistance in finding the missing crew. The Brazilian Air Force dispatched a C-130 plane to the site.

The Marshall Islands-flagged ship, which was carrying iron ore, departed from Rio de Janeiro on March 26.

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