A cargo ship was feared to have sunk in rough seas caused by Cyclone Phailin off the coast of West Bengal, but the crew were spotted in a lifeboat by a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft today.
The Panama registered MV Bingo carrying 8,000 tonne of iron ore was sailing to China after it left the Sagar anchorage on October 11, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman RPS Kahlon told PTI here. The ship had left Haldia port on October 8 and went missing yesterday.
"The crew members have been located 45 nautical miles away by Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard. They are sending a vessel to bring them back," Kahlon said.
However, till evening they could not trace the ship, he 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, he said.
As per international practice, ships are advised to stay in the open sea instead of the harbour to avoid damage.
Coast Guard officials said in Delhi that it has launched two vessels - Samudra Pahredar and Vajra -- at sea for helping the fishermen and stranded ships.
The Coast Guard has also deployed three dorniers aircrafts for the rescue mission.Eighteen stranded fishermen have been rescued at Paradeep, Odisha, they said.
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