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USAF official: 7 rescued sailors head back to China

May. 5, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
An airman parachutes into the Pacific Ocean on May 3 to aid two critically injured sailors aboard a Venezuelan fishing boat.
An airman parachutes into the Pacific Ocean on May 3 to aid two critically injured sailors aboard a Venezuelan fishing boat. (Staff Sgt. Adam Grant / Air Force via AP)
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A Venezuelan fishing boat aided two critically injured Chinese sailors. The Venezuelan fishing boat found the sailors floating in a raft Friday afternoon after their vessel sank off the coast of Mexico, said Sarah Schwennese, spokeswoman at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. (Staff Sgt. Adam Grant / AP)

SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Air Force official says seven Chinese sailors rescued off Mexico’s Pacific Coast and the bodies of two of their comrades are returning home on a Chinese-flagged vessel.

Maj. Sarah Schwennesen said Monday that the seven were in good condition. She says they were rescued when a crew aboard a Venezuelan fishing boat found a total of 11 Chinese sailors on a lifeboat Friday 1,100 miles off the Mexican coast. Six others are believed missing.

Schwennesen says U.S. Air Force rescuers were working Monday on bringing two badly burned sailors to the Mexican city of Cabo San Lucas. They will then transport them to a San Diego hospital for treatment.

Airmen are caring for the injured after parachuting into the water Saturday and using inflatable boats to reach the Venezuelan vessel.

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