Chinese Official Thanks N.C. Shipping Company For Typhoon Rescue

Chinese maritime officials are calling crew members of a ship operated by a North Carolina company "courageous, selfless and humanitarian."

A letter from the officials thanks the crew of the Charlotte-based Horizon Lines ship for braving typhoon-whipped seas to rescue two Chinese seamen from a sunken vessel in the Pacific Ocean.

One adrift man was plucked from the ocean by a sailor harnessed to a 40-foot ladder as it was lowered into huge swells during Typhoon Man-yi. A log entry by the Horizon Falcon's captain, Tom McDorr, says the second man was rescued by a lifeboat that was heavily damaged.

The rescued men were among 13 surviving crew members of the 420-foot log carrier Hai Tong Number Seven. It sank about 375 miles northwest of Guam earlier this month.

The Panamanian-registered ship had a 22-member crew.