A cargo ship is presumed sunk in rough seas caused by Cyclone Phailin off the coast of West Bengal but its crew consisting 17 Chinese and an Indonesian was rescued today, the Coast Guard said.
The crew were spotted in a lifeboat by a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft yesterday and rescued 28 nautical miles north-east of Balasore in Odisha early today, Coast Guard Commandant Rajendra Nath told PTI. "The crew had abandoned the ship after it started sinking 24 miles south of Sagar Island. All of them are safe now and they have been sent to a hospital for check-up," he said.
The Panama registered MV Bingo carrying 8,000 tonne of iron ore was sailing to China after it left the Sagar anchorage on Friday. It went missing the day after. "However, no trace of the ship has been found yet and it is presumed to be sunk," the Coast Guard official said. The ship was said to have sailed south instead of east with the captain deciding to proceed to China before it might have tried to come back to port after damage in rough seas.
As per international practice, ships are advised to stay in the open sea instead of the harbour to avoid damage.