Rescue attempt for crew on stalled ship facing Ike

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- Aircraft have been dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to try to rescue 22 crewmen on a stalled freighter in the dangerous path of Hurricane Ike.

Earlier, officials had said they would probably have to ride out the storm on the freighter.

Petty Officer Tom Atkeson says rescue swimmers are on board five Coast Guard and Air Force aircraft, including two helicopters, a Falcon jet and two Ospreys. They're expected to reach the ship by 1 p.m., Central time.

Twenty-two men were aboard the 584-foot freighter Antalina, adrift about 90 miles southeast of Galveston. The Coast Guard received a radio call for help early today.

Atkeson says the aircraft include some with hoist operations. He says the rescued crewmen will be transported to either Houston or Corpus Christi, depending on fuel and weather.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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