x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Seamen rescued after two vessels collide off UAE coast

The police operations room was notified of the accident at around 3.30am and dispatched rescue teams to the area, about 9 nautical miles out.

UMM AL QUWAIN // Thirty-one crewmen were rescued after two ships collided off the coast of Umm Al Quwain on Friday.

The collision occurred at about 3.30am. Police were alerted and then sent rescue teams to the area, about nine nautical miles off the coast.

“One of the ships, with a Sri Lankan flag, was coming from Iran to Dubai with nine Indian crew members,” an UAQ Police spokesman said.

“It was empty, while the other ship, with a Comoros Islands flag, was leaving Dubai to Somalia with 22 crew members and a load of different goods including 46 cars.

“After the collision the Sri Lankan ship sank, but all of its crew were rescued and all were in good health.”

He said efforts are under way to raise the sunken ship while the second ship was taken to Sharjah Port for repairs.

Police said the cause of the accident was still being investigated but initial inquiries indicated the Sri Lankan ship had stopped and did not have its lights on.

It is suspected it had a malfunction with its engine.

The case is now with UAQ prosecutors.

ykaknde@thenational.ae