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Chinese fishing boat collides with Greek freighter near Senkakus, 6 rescued

Crewmembers of a JCG patrol boat rescue a man wearing a life jacket from the sea close to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, on Aug. 11, 2016. (Photo courtesy of the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters)

NAHA -- A Chinese fishing boat apparently sank after colliding with a Greek-registered freighter on high seas close to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture early on Aug. 11, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) said.

A JCG patrol boat rescued six people believed to be crewmembers of the Chinese boat. Another patrol vessel and a JCG aircraft are searching the area for other survivors.

At around 5:30 a.m., crewmembers of a JCG patrol boat received an SOS from the 106,726-ton freighter Anangel Courage. The patrol vessel and a JCG plane found the freighter on the high seas about 67 kilometers away from Uotsuri Island, one of the Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China.

JCG officers questioned Anangel Courage crewmembers and confirmed that the freighter had collided with a Chinese fishing boat. The JCG fears that the Chinese boat sank because the vessel has not been spotted in the area, plus the six people pulled from the sea.

Six Chinese government vessels have been dispatched to the scene. The JCG is cooperating with Chinese authorities in searching for survivors.

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