HONG KONG: A 190-meter long cargo ship sank off Hong Kong Wednesday in waves of up to 15 meters (50 feet) caused by Typhoon Utor, with all 21 crew members rescued by helicopter, officials said.
The crew abandoned ship as the bulk carrier Trans Summer tipped on its side and sank 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Hong Kong, Samuel Yip of the city's Flying Services said.
Yip, a pilot who took part in the rescue operation, said they were called at 10.39am (0239 GMT) and found some crew on life rafts while others were floating in the water.
"The boat had ... started to sink so the crew decided to abandon the ship," he told AFP.
"The waves were 10 to 15 meters high. The wind was 90 kilometers per hour.
"The air crew saw the ship was leaning to the left side by about 20 to 30 degrees and started to sink when it tilted almost 90 degrees."
The Hong Kong-registered ship was a bulk cargo vessel travelling from Indonesia to China, he said.
The two helicopters from Flying Services rescued 19 crew, while a vessel from mainland China picked up the remaining two.
Yip said the crew appeared to be mostly mainland Chinese.
Severe Typhoon Utor passed within about 240 kilometers of Hong Kong Wednesday after leaving at least six people dead in the Philippines.