Rough seas, strong wind hamper search for ferry victims

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 November, 1999, 12:00am

Search teams yesterday continued to look for victims of the shipwreck off the eastern port of Yantai but said rough seas and strong winds had hampered efforts.

All but 22 of the 302 people aboard the Dashun ferry perished when the vessel capsized last Wednesday, official media said.

'Search-and-rescue efforts continue,' a spokesman for the China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre in Beijing said.

Officials at Yantai said they were under orders not to disclose any information about the disaster.

However, it was reported that several managers of the ferry company, Yanda, had been held for investigation.

The China News Service said three salvage ships had arrived to try re-float the ill-fated ferry and recover the bodies of some 130 people still missing.

An official at the sea rescue office in Yantai said there was no hope of finding anyone alive. Authorities were now concentrating on recovering bodies.

According to revised figures published in the official media yesterday, there were 302 people on the ship, including 40 crew - 10 fewer than previously thought. To date, 150 bodies had been found, China Daily said.

The China News Service said divers were unable to search for bodies because of the rough seas.