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Hope fading in search for 22 missing from sunken South Korean vessel

Containers are loaded onto a cargo ship at the Tianjin port in China in this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo.
Containers are loaded onto a cargo ship at the Tianjin port in China in this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo. AP Photo/Andy Wong, File

Uruguay‘s navy said on Sunday it was losing hope of finding alive any of 22 crew members missing two days after a South Korean ore carrier sank in the South Atlantic but was still continuing the search, a Navy spokesman said.

Two Filipino crew members have been rescued floating in a life raft on Saturday, but other lifeboats and rafts found in the area were empty, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

“The more hours pass, the less the chances are of finding them,” spokesman for the Uruguayan Navy Gaston Jaunsolo told Reuters.

READ MORE: Cargo ship with 24 crew members missing off coast of Uruguay

He said a Brazilian plane had flown over the area on Sunday morning and an Argentine war ship was due to join the search efforts. The ship sank on Friday some 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) off Uruguay’s coast, Jaunsolo said.

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Eight of the missing are South Korean nationals and 14 are Filipinos.

READ MORE: Sunken South Korean ferry to be lifted onto transport vessel 3 years after disaster

The very large ore carrier (VLOC) Stellar Daisy owned and operated by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping based in Busan was sailing from Brazil to China carrying iron ore when it sent a distress signal to the ship operator on Friday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

A message last received on Friday by Polaris from a crew member said the ship was taking in water on the port side and was listing rapidly, Yonhap said.

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