(ATTN: UPDATES headline, 4th para; REPLACES photo)
SEOGWIPO, South Korea, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- A Hong Kong-registered cargo ship carrying 22 crew members sank off the southern island of Jeju on Wednesday, and five of them were rescued, while a search is under way for the others, the Coast Guard said.
Fourteen Chinese and eight Myanmarese crew members were aboard the Jin Tian, a 6,551-ton, wood-carrying ship, when it sent out a distress signal at 3:07 a.m. in waters 148.2 kilometers southeast of the city of Seogwipo on Jeju Island, according to the Coast Guard.
The ship was completely submerged when Coast Guard personnel arrived at the scene.
Five of the crew members were rescued by other ships that were sailing by, officials said, adding the Coast Guard is conducting a joint search and rescue operation with their Japanese counterparts for the 17 others.
The Coast Guard said the ship appears to have gone down when it sent the distress signal via the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), an emergency locator system.
It was found that the vessel transmitted its first distress signal via the Digital Selective Calling system at 1:45 a.m. before going out of contact about an hour later.