YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) A South Korean-registered freighter with 16 men aboard may have sunk Tuesday after it was involved in a collision with another cargo carrier in the Pacific off Izu Oshima Island about 120 km south of Tokyo, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The accident took place at around 2:20 a.m. and contact was lost with the 4,255-ton Orchid Pia, which had seven South Koreans and nine Indonesians onboard.

The other ship, the 10,833-ton Panamanian-registered Cygnus Ace, an automobile carrier with a crew of 19, told the coast guard it suffered damage to its bow but could navigate on its own.

None of its crew members was injured.

Visibility in the area, about 13 km east of Izu Oshima, was poor because it was raining at the time of the collision, according to the coast guard.

The coast guard and the Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatched ships and aircraft to search for the South Korean ship.

An unmanned rescue raft and several life jackets were found floating in the sea off Oshima.

The Orchid Pia was carrying iron coils from Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, to South Korea, while the Cygnus Ace was en route from Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, to Yokohama.

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