Rescuers are continuing to search for missing crew following the recovery of 12 bodies from the Fujing 001 wind installation vessel, which broke apart on Saturday in the wake of a tropical storm.
Four people had been rescued by the early hours of 4 July, but 14 crew members still remain unaccounted for, according to reports from the Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Centre.
The 12 bodies recovered from the vessel are yet to be identified.
Hong Kong authorities said on Sunday that the chances of finding further survivors was “slim”.
The vessel, a China-registered floating crane, snapped in two on Saturday after being struck by tropical storm Chaba, which had sustained wind speeds of 68 miles per hour. It sank around 186 miles south of Hong Kong, in the South China Sea.
The search had been suspended overnight on Saturday as weather conditions had made it too difficult for rescue teams, Hong Kong’s Marine Department said.
Despite the conditions, the Search and Rescue Centre said seven helicopters, 246 vessels and 498 fishing boats had been involved in the rescue mission.
The 204m crane vessel has a lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes and is owned by Shanghai Huajing Zhiyun Engineering.
It had last month been involved in lifting operations at the Qingzhou offshore wind farm – China’s first deepwater wind project, located off the coast of Yangjiang City
Chaba was upgraded to a typhoon before making landfall in Guangdong province and Hong Kong on Saturday.