11 Indians rescued from sinking ship in Omani waters
August 27, 2016 | 5:13 PM
by Rejimon K/[email protected]
Eleven Indian sailors were rescued from a sinking cargo ship, thanks to the Omani fishermen who saved their lives on Saturday. -ONA

Muscat: Eleven Indian sailors were rescued from a sinking cargo ship, thanks to the Omani fishermen who saved their lives on Saturday.

Get your essential daily briefing delivered direct to your email inbox with our e-newsletter

“At least for four hours, we were in danger. We thought that we all will drown. However, Omani fishermen came to our rescue,” Abdullah Juma, boat captain, told Times of Oman.

The cargo ship, which had 69 used cars, cooking oil and tyres on board, capsized 15 nautical miles from Al Suwaiyeh in Jalan Bu Ali on Saturday early morning. There were 11 Indians on board.

Watch: Rescued sailors talking to Indian consular agent in Jalan Bu Ali

“At around 2am, our cargo vessel was hit by something while sailing. As it was dark, we couldn’t check what it was. Waited until early morning. At around 5am, two of our crew took a dive into water to check what has happened. But by then, the situation went out of control. The water was entering the vessel,” the captain told Times of Oman over phone. After they found that they can’t fix the vessel, they took safety boats and waited for the rescue.

After failing to plug the leak, the Indian sailors abandoned their boat and it was the timely intervention of Omani fishermen who saved their lives and brought them to the shore.-Supplied

“By morning, Omani fishermen on 25 boats found us. They came to our rescue. We all tried to salvage the cargo, but nothing could be done. We waited until 11am and then came to the shore,” the captain added.

Meanwhile, members of Pravasi Jalan, an Indian social organisation coordinating the local authorities, said that accommodation for the rescued crew has been arranged.

“We have booked hotel rooms for them. They have their passports and all. But they have lost their dress and other things. In coordination with local authorities and Indian embassy, paper works will be done for their repatriation,” the organisation members said.

The sailors have called their home and informed that they were safe.

They were in danger from 2am until 6am when the fishermen came for the rescue.

According to the crew, the vessel was heading to Yemen from Sharjah.

On July 22 also, a vessel carrying plastic items was sunk off Masirah Island, with thousands of plastic items washing ashore near the beach where turtles were nesting on the island.

The 800-tonne cargo vessel had 17 sailors on board and they were transporting livestock to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, from Gujarat, India.

Their next planned voyage involved loading food from Sharjah and sailing to a port in Somalia. But harsh weather in the Indian Ocean caused damage to the ship, causing it to take in water. The crew attempted bailing out their ship, but were unable to keep up with the fast flowing seawater.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news