Search called off for Hope survivors
Published: 2013-07-08 13:25:08.0 BdST Updated: 2013-07-08 13:56:14.0 BdST
The Royal Thai Navy has called off the search for the six missing crew of Bangladeshi cargo ship MV Hope, which tilted in the seas south of Phuket last Thursday morning.
The rescuers failed to locate any of the missing crewmen on the Sunday, Captain Thammawat Malaisukkarin, Director of the Naval Civil Affairs, told the Phuket Gazette.
“Our next mission is to salvage the Hope,” Capt Thammawat was quoted as sayig by the Thai news outlet.
“The Navy is providing support for the MV Confidence, which was commissioned by the Hope’s insurance company to render assistance and carry out repairs.” He added.
The Confidence is said to have arrived in Phuket on Sunday.
The Hope will be towed back to Phuket, said Capt Thammawat, adding a tow boat was pulling the Hope towards south, away from the nearest islands so the repairs can be carried out safely away from land.
The salvage team went on board and discovered that the ship’s engine still worked and it did not seem to be taking on any more water, he added.
The team is expected to take about five days to repair the Hope, considering that the weather is favourable, so it can be sailed back to a safe port.
“The Royal Thai Navy is providing a helicopter, a dive team and a speedboat to support their mission,” he added.
Last Wednesday, the MV Hope was caught in a severe storm and its captain had lost control of the ship. Despite his best efforts, the ship was tilting to its side, and the sailors were fearful that the vessel would sink. Several of them jumped into the rough sea with their life jacket on.
A few among the 17 sailors on board got onto a life boat and was picked up by the Buxmoon on Thursday.
A helicopter of the Royal Thai Navy rescued Deck Cadet Abu Bakar Siddiqui who was floating with his life jacket and sent him to a hospital in Phuket.
The second day saw three more rescued and the Buxmoon recovered the dead bodies of two crew members – the Hope’s Chief Officer Mahbub Morshed and Chief Engineer Kazi Saifuddin. Both their bodies were handed over to the Thai navy.
Those rescued on Friday included MV Hope’s Second Officer Mobarak Hossain, Deck Cadet Rayekh Fairooz and Engine Cadet Mushfiqur Rahman.
They were receiving medical attention.
The Royal Thai Navy continued the operation to rescue the six missing crew following requests by their family members but there have been no traces of them.
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