Over 55 missing in China boat sinking tragedy

Rescuers saved 14 fishermen and retrieved four bodies Tuesday of the total 88 who went missing due to the sinking of their boats in the typhoon near Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China's island province of Hainan.

Fourteen people were rescued on Monday.

Zhang Jie, a spokesperson with the Hainan Maritime Affairs Bureau, said 22 vessels and four airplanes were still combing the sea for more survivors.

Altogether five fishing boats, including the three that sunk, with a total of 171 people aboard were caught in Typhoon Wutip Sunday, according to the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

The fishermen had received typhoon warnings starting Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats.

The Chinese Navy added another three warships Tuesday to the rescue work efforts. So far, seven navy warships have joined the search mission, bringing infrared and radar search equipment as well as more manpower to aid the rescue work.

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