x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Captain missing after storm sinks ship off Sharjah

Five members of ship's crew survive after swimming to a nearby breakwater, where rescue teams gather them up.

Besides the loss of a ship off Sharjah, three barges beached in the Northern Emirates, including the Fadak 2, above.
Besides the loss of a ship off Sharjah, three barges beached in the Northern Emirates, including the Fadak 2, above.

SHARJAH // An Indian captain is missing and believed dead after his ship sank off Sharjah in the rough seas that battered the Northern Emirates over the weekend.

Five members of the ship's crew, all Indian nationals, survived after swimming to a nearby breakwater, where rescue teams gathered them up.

Yesterday, police boats and rescue teams were searching the area for the captain's body. Sources said the ship had not been carrying cargo and posed no threaten to the environment.

The ship went down 500 metres offshore from the town of Hamriya on Sunday, in the same area where the Lady Moon supply vessel sank last week, also after being battered by high seas.

"The ship is about 45 metres long and was sailing from one of the GCC countries," an official from Hamriya Port said.

"The strong winds affected its movements and it made attempts to dock at Ajman but the winds cut the ropes and it moved, collided with waves and started sinking near where the Lady Moon sank."

The rough weather also caused a tugboat to drift and run aground on the Ajman corniche at about 2pm on Sunday. Four of its crew were rescued by police teams.

The weekend's rough weather was also blamed for three barges beaching in the Northern Emirates - one in Hamriya in Sharjah, one in Zorah, Ajman, and another in Umm Al Qaiwain's Ras area. The barge in Hamriya was carrying sea sand, while the other two were carrying heavy rocks.

In February last year, the captains of two cargo ships - the Dolphin and Lady Rana - grounded their vessels on the Sharjah coast within days of one another after bad weather at sea caused technical defaults.

ykakande@thenational.ae