A rescue ship was last night steaming to the aid of a fisheries supply ship that lost power in the South China Sea, a Xinhua reporter aboard the distressed vessel blogged. The vessel, the Qiong Sanya F8168, is the flagship of a 30-strong fishing fleet sent by Beijing to assert China's claim to disputed waters in the South China Sea. Reporter Wang Cunfu and about 70 sailors are on board. At about 3pm, Wang posted an SOS on his microblog, saying the ship was drifting helplessly south of the Paracel Islands and no aid had come despite repeated requests for help. 'None of the contact methods provided to us by fishery law enforcement ships work. The Nanhai Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport demands we make a payment. The captain cannot make a decision ... SOS,' the posting said. Wang later wrote that the ship lost power after noon because the electricity supply failed. A staff member at the Nanhai rescue bureau headquarters in Guangzhou confirmed the request for help. The bureau denied it was charging fees to rescue boats in distress. An official at the bureau's base in Sanya , which is closest to the fleet, said no rescue order had been issued. Late last night Wang wrote on his microblog that the Nanhai rescue bureau had sent a ship to rescue the supply vessel - free of charge. Wang also wrote he had deleted his earlier SOS, saying: '[I was] notified that my earlier message was not appropriate to be made public.'