Six mainland crewmen were rescued 15 minutes before their cargo ship sank early yesterday, Marine Police said. Marine officer Sergeant Chak Wing-wah said the Fujianese crewmen panicked. 'They flocked to the rear of the vessel, yelling for help when they saw our ship,' he said. 'One burst into tears immediately after being rescued.' The 40-metre Chiu Yam 26, which was carrying salt to Guangzhou, was damaged after hitting rocks at One-Foot Rock near the Ninepin Islands. Sergeant Chak said the situation was 'highly dangerous' because of the high seas and strong wind. Waves were up to 10 metres high with a 60-knot wind. A nearby ship alerted police to the foundering boat, which was half-submerged when police arrived.