Japan coastguard rescue 11 crew of missing cargo ship

TOKYO - Japan's coastguard on Thursday rescued 11 crew members of a Hong Kong cargo ship that went missing in the East China Sea during a violent storm this week, an official said.

The 4,143-tonne New Lucky VII, which was carrying 17 crew and lumber from Papua New Guinea to China, disappeared on Tuesday off the southern Japanese island of Amami Oshima.

The coastguard said the rescued crew - eight Indonesian, two Chinese and one Taiwanese - were drifting on life boats southwest of the island that lies some 1,300 kilometres (806 miles) from Tokyo.

They "appeared unhurt and looked fine", the official said.

"But we have not had further details including their identification, the fate of the remaining six crew as well as the cargo ship," the official said, adding that the rescue operation was ongoing.

Japan was hammered by a huge storm earlier this week with violent winds and rain that caused transport chaos and left at least five people dead.

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