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Mar 24,2008
Chinese crews search for 18 sailors
by UPI

HONG KONG -- Crews are searching for 18 Ukrainian sailors who went missing after their tugboat crashed into a Chinese vessel off the shores of Hong Kong two days ago.

Roger Tupper, marine director of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said crews have gone underwater to pound on the sunken Ukrainian tugboat Neftegaz 67 to see if sailors are trapped inside, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

"I am sorry to say, since we did the first dive yesterday morning, we have not had any response from within the hull of the vessel," Tupper said in a Monday news conference.

Six Ukrainian seamen and one Chinese were rescued shortly after the Saturday incident occurred.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko reportedly is requiring his government to back Chinese rescue crews and "provide medical aid and all that is needed for the Ukrainian sailors who have been rescued."

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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