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Panama-registered barge found safe on stormy sea

(Xinhua)

08:41, June 21, 2012

GUANGZHOU, June 20 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese rescue vessel started dragging a Panama-registered barge back to safe waters on Wednesday, three days after the vessel went missing on the choppy South China Sea.

The eight sailors on board, including one Taiwanese sailor and seven Indonesian sailors, were in safe condition, said an official from the South China Sea Rescue Bureau.

A cable linking the barge, EASTERN WB300, to a Singapore-registered tugboat broke at about 1 p.m. Monday after being hit by strong winds and waves off the coast of south China's Guangdong province.

The motorless barge then went adrift at sea and was in great danger due to the approaching tropical storm Talim, which has packed high winds and whipped up billows at the sea.

The rescue vessel contacted the barge on Monday morning about 55 nautical miles from the site of the accident. The two ships were expected to reach safe waters near Sanya, a city in China's southernmost island province of Hainan, on Saturday, the official said.

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