Capt. Peter Ryan of the Joint Task Force Atlantic said the crew of the MCS Monterey was still assessing the damage to the ship, the Western Star of Corner Brook reported.
"There were reports that she had a problem with her hull and that she was in danger of breaking apart," Ryan said.
"As we speak people are being lifted off that vessel in distress."
Four non-essential crew members had been airlifted from the cargo vessel, which was about 34 nautical miles off Portugal Cove South when the distress call was issued, the newspaper said.
A Canadian coast guard research vessel, two helicopters and another aircraft were taking part in the efforts to help the Monterey, the Western Star said.
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