Rescue officials found a body during a search for a Korean ship missing off southwestern Japan
, raising fears the cargo vessel foundered in heavy seas with 28 crew on board, Japan's coast guard said. "Given the facts, we have to conclude that the ship has probably sunk," a coast guard spokesman said.
The 22,725-ton Korean-registered Honghae Sanyo vanished with a cargo of gravel in heavy winds and high seas late on Tuesday after failing to pick up a navigator en route to a port in Hyogo, some 700 km (432 miles) southwest of Tokyo. No distress signal was received. A coast guard spokesman said that a body, believed to be that of a crew member, was discovered late on Wednesday near Cape Muroto on Japan's smallest main island of Shikoku during
a search by planes and patrol boats.
Six empty lifeboats and rubber rafts, one with the name of the ship on its side, have also been found, the spokesman said. "But we have yet to discover any other members of the crew," he added. Six were from Korea and 22 from Myanmar.