• Kyodo

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A freighter rescued 12 Filipino sailors drifting in life rafts Friday off Okinawa, but four crew members remain missing after their Panamanian-registered cargo ship capsized, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The coast guard said the 4,252-ton Pendola, carrying 16 crew members, was found capsized at around 5:40 a.m. Friday in the Pacific Ocean about 140 km northeast of Kitadaito Island in the Daito island chain east of the main island of Okinawa.

The coast guard said it received a distress signal from the ship at around 1 a.m. and rushed to the area.

It said that after it spotted the capsized ship, it contacted another freighter in the area to look for survivors.

The coast guard said it was still searching for the four missing crew members, who are Filipino and South Korean nationals.

The Pendola, carrying timber, was headed for Kumamoto Prefecture from the Solomon Islands.

The coast guard said high waves at the time may have caused the ship’s load to shift, causing the vessel to flip.

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