Japan coastguard recovers empty raft and lifeboat

STORY: So far 13 crew members were rescued from the cargo ship, with two confirmed dead, the Japan Coast Guard said. Rescuers are still searching for nine people who are missing.

The 7331-ton Hong Kong-registered "Jintian" issued a distress call late on Tuesday (January 24), the Japan Coast Guard said.

Media reported a person on the ship said it was listing and taking on water, and later reports said the 22 crew - all Chinese or Myanmar nationals - had transferred to lifeboats. There was no immediate word on what caused the vessel, which was carrying lumber, to capsize, but a Coast Guard spokesperson said winds were strong at the time.