Rescue efforts continue on the overturn cruise ship Eastern Star that sank one day earlier. Some 1,000 police, 110 vessels and over 175 divers are involved in the search and rescue operations. The total rescued reached 14 as a few survivors were found trapped within the hull.
Reports say divers found a 21 year old man trapped in a small compartment who was able to use dive equipment to swim out the vessel. Rescuers cut a hole after hearing tapping inside the hull and rescued a 65 year old woman. Another person was found downstream after he had escaped out a window when the Eastern Star capsized. He had grabbed a life vest and floated some 10 hours down the river before being spotted by rescuers.
The 76 meter long four-deck river passenger ship Eastern Star (Dongfangzhixing) capsized and sank on the Yangtze River in the Wuhan, Damazhou area. The vessel was carrying 405 passengers, 5 travel agents and 48 crew on a holiday cruise up the Yangtze from Nanjing to Chongqing when it was struck by a severe storm. The storm with heavy rain and strong winds caused the vessel to capsize and sink within just a few minutes.
Many passengers were still asleep on board when the vessel sank. It is believed they received no warning and were still in their cabins. Reports state only 12 of the 458 on board were rescued. Several swam ashore while others were pulled from the water. Some required treatment for minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital. Among the survivors was the Captain and Chief Engineer of the Eastern Star. They state a cyclone struck the vessel and did not allow the vessel to send out a distress call.
Authorities responded quickly and had several rescue boats on the scene. Some 20 divers were requested to aid efforts while some 100 local fishing boats have joined in the search and rescue efforts. A crane barge has been requested to help right the overturn hull in hopes to find survivors who may have found an airpocket.