Ship carrying 16 Filipinos, 8 S.Koreans missing near Uruguay

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's government said Saturday that a cargo ship being used by a South Korean shipping company has gone missing in seas near Uruguay with 24 crew members.

The ship went out of contact late Friday, South Korea time, shortly after one of the crew members sent a text message to the shipping company saying the ship was taking on water, according to an official from Seoul's Foreign Ministry.

The official said the Uruguayan maritime police and a commercial vessel that had been in neighboring waters were searching for the Stella Daisy, which had departed from a port in Brazil on March 26.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules, said 16 Filipinos and eight South Koreans were on the ship. He said it wasn't clear whether the ship sank or if the crew members escaped.

He said the ship was registered in the Marshall Islands.