A parachuting medical team and other U.S. Air Force rescuers are working to bring two badly burned Chinese sailors from a boat in the Pacific Ocean to a California hospital.
Officials said two other Chinese sailors died and six are believed to be missing after their boat sank.
Maj. Sarah Schwennesen, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, said Sunday that a Venezuelan fishing boat reported finding 11 sailors floating in a raft Friday afternoon. She said the Venezuelan crew said four sailors were badly burned. Two later died of their injuries.
Airmen from the 563rd Rescue Group parachuted into the water Saturday afternoon and used inflatable boats to reach the Venezuelan vessel, which is 1,100 nautical miles west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Schwennesen said. They treated the injured sailors Saturday and Sunday.
The injured sailors will be hoisted, along with the U.S. airmen, onto three helicopters and flown to Cabo San Lucas, a coastal city in western Mexico. The injured pair will then be taken in a different aircraft to a burn unit in San Diego, accompanied by the airmen giving them care.