Uruguay says Filipino-crewed freighter believed lost
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - A large South Korean freighter with 24 crew, among them Filipinos, is believed to have sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after issuing a distress call, the Uruguayan navy said Saturday.
Merchant ships in the area spotted a life raft and were working to rescue two sailors, Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, quoting government officials in Seoul.
The sailors' nationality was not known. The crew comprised 16 Filipinos and eight Koreans.
The Stellar Daisy, a Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) with a capacity of more than 260,000 tonnes, had issued an emergency call on Friday shortly before noon local time (14H00 GMT), saying it was taking on water, according to the navy.
Because the ship was far off the Uruguayan coast -- some 2,000 nautical miles, or 3,700 kilometers, from Montevideo -- the navy organized a search by four merchant ships in the area, spokesman Gaston Jaunsolo told AFP in Montevideo.
He said the first ships to reach the scene had detected a "strong smell of fuel" and spotted debris, "an indication that the damaged ship had sunk," a statement from the navy said.
The ship, which is flagged in the Marshall Islands, had departed from a port in Brazil. Its intended destination was not immediately clear. — Agence France-Presse