Crew saved in sinking

2011.1.31-KIGO.jpgThe Seychelles Coast Guard yesterday rescued 13 Pakistanis after their ship sank.Three were stranded on a sand bank 130 nautical miles from Mahe.

Ten others who were earlier missing were later rescued as they drifted 100 nautical miles from Mahe on a large white open life boat whose engine seems to have failed.

Coast guard commander Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Rosette said this in an interview after the rescue.

He said the MV Ras Kigomasha had 13 passengers on board when it took on water and sank near the African Bank.

The vessel was previously being used to carry passengers and cargo between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.

"We got information from a representative of the vessel on Wednesday, saying it was on its way from Tanzania to India, where it was going to be scrapped," he said.

"On Thursday the rep flew here and told us the vessel was around the African Bank.

"We dispatched an aircraft and on the same day we found the vessel and saw the three people. We sent two coast guard vessels, which rescued them yesterday."

He said the 13 reached the bank but the captain sent three of them ashore to see if there were people on the uninhabited bank, after which the lifeboat drifted away.

Lt-Col Rosette said the 10 sailors were later found and rescued, and an environment officer has been sent to the area to see if there is any danger of pollution from the sunken boat.

Source: Seychelles Nation