x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sunken Dubai ship recovered

A Dubai-registered ship that sank off Qatar is raised from the seabed and the last of 30 bodies recovered.

A Dubai-registered ship that sank off Qatar last week was today raised from the seabed and the last of the 30 bodies recovered from the wreck. The 34-metre Demas Victory, a utility vessel providing services to the oil industry and run by the Midgulf Offshore Ship Chartering Company, capsized in heavy winds about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Doha early on Tuesday morning. Five survivors, including the captain, were rescued and by Friday 19 bodies had been retrieved.

Salvagers refloated the boat on Sunday evening and the remaining 11 bodies were removed this morning, Midgulf's general manager George Mathew told The National. The crew was made up of 19 Indians, 12 Nepalis, three Indonesians and a Bangladeshi. Four were Midgulf employees with the others employed by Doha-based HBK Power Cleaning, which chartered the ship. Investigations have now begun into the cause of the accident, with teams from the Qatar port authority and coastguard as well as insurers scouring the stricken vessel for clues. Salvagers had found the vessel's hull undamaged, suggesting adverse weather conditions were the likely cause for the accident, Mr Mathew said.

"There is no damage to the vessel's hull anywhere," he said. "There is no hole or tear. The hull is in perfect condition. We assume that the cause of the accident is the weather, the swell and the wind, although we cannot reach a firm conclusion yet. "We need to wait for a couple of days. The inspection of the wreck will give us some clues. We also don't rule out an error on the part of the crew."

The Demas Victory was raised from the seabed by Mubarak Marine, a Dubai salvation and towing company. The company first turned the ship upright on the seabed before divers passed slings around the hull and using a floating crane to lift it to the surface, where the remaining water was pumped out. "There is no particular damage to the boat and it seems to have capsized due to the weather," said Juma Mubarak, the company's managing director.

tspender@thenational.ae