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Survivors escape in life rafts as ferry sinks off Papua New Guinea

msnbc.com staff and news service report from PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea:

Rescuers have plucked more than 200 survivors from the sea off Papua New Guinea's east coast after a ferry sank Thursday with as many as 350 people on board, officials said.

An airplane from Australia, three helicopters and eight ships were scouring the search area after the MV Rabaul Queen went down while traveling from Kimbe on the island of New Britain to coastal town of Lae on the main island, Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement. Read the full story.