Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A rescue team examines the hull of the tugboat.
Delores Johnson Staff Photographer
A rescue team examines the hull of the tugboat.

Sailor lost as tug capsizes

A sailor is missing after a tugboat capsized off the Abu Dhabi coastline on Thursday night.

ABU DHABI // A search was continuing on Friday night for a crew member missing at sea after a tug boat -capsized off the coast of Abu Dhabi as it towed a cargo vessel into port. Four other crew members were rescued by coastguards after being thrown overboard on Thursday night when the boat, Abu Dhabi 1, suffered engine failure and was hit by the ship it had been guiding into the harbour. Three rescue boats travelled eight nautical miles to the capsized boat yesterday to continue the hunt for the missing Filipino crew member. The hull of the upturned boat was clearly visible as the coastguards cruised around it for signs of the man.

They had already scanned the area the previous night, after the accident, and several dives were made into the overturned boat to try and locate the fifth crew member, but without success. "Divers went inside the boat, but they were not able to find anything due to poor visibility," said an officer from the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) who was part of the mission. The CNIA said yesterday the sea traffic watchtower at Mina Zayed had issued an alert at 9.45pm Thursday night. The authority dispatched a rescue team to the site and four crew members were plucked from the sea. According to the CNIA, the Abu Dhabi 1, which was built in 2002 in Singapore, had capsized due to a sudden engine failure while it was towing a 225-metre long cargo ship, the JM Hong Kong.

As the tug stalled, the larger ship swerved violently to the right, hitting the stern of the tug. All five crew on the tug were thrown into the water as it quickly overturned with the force of the collision. The four survivors, a Bahrani and three Filipinos, were taken immediately to Khalifa Hospital. Two suffered minor injuries, one from dizziness and one was unharmed. It is believed that the men were discharged yesterday after treatment. Strong currents and bad visibility had made it impossible to recover the tugboat as of last night. Further rescue crews will be returning to the area again this morning to continue the hunt for the missing crewman. The incident is the second major shipping accident to involve loss of life off the coast of Abu Dhabi this year. Eight people died in February when the ferry Dhanna III capsized in bad weather while sailing from Mugharaq, on the western Al Gharbia coast, to Jurnain Island. The ferry was part of a fleet operated by the Dalma Co-operative Society, connecting the mainland and islands. There was only one survivor, a Pakistani man who was pulled from the water. It is believed the ferry capsized after its cargo of lorries and cars came loose in a sandstorm and the ship attempted to turn back to port. The bodies of the two remaining victims were only recovered from the wreckage of the Dhanna III last month. hdajani@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National