Thirty sailors have been saved but some 50 were still missing after a Philippine fishing boat capsized in the South China Sea on Thursday morning, according to the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.
The Philippine craft, numbered "805900", was carrying some 80 sailors when it sank near Zhongye Reef in the Nansha Islands while taking shelter from strong winds, the center said late on Thursday.
The center did not provide a specific time of the accident but said it received a report of the accident at 11:25 am on Thursday.
Seven fishing boats from China's southern-most island province, Hainan, that were in the vicinity picked up 30 Philippine sailors from the water, the center stated.
Rescue ships under the Ministry of Communications (MOC) were rushing to the scene and the center also ordered passing ships of the China Shipping (Group) Company and China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company to help in the search for the missing seamen.
The MOC has ordered the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center to map out and coordinate rescue efforts and confirm the exact number of sailors who were aboard the Philippine ship.
Rescue work was still going on. Wind speed at the accident site was recorded at around 20 meters per second.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2007)