Ten rescued after ship sinks off Somalia coast

Kenya- Somalia map

A map showing Somalia and part of Kenya. 

Photo credit: Fotosearch

Ten seafarers of different nationalities rescued off the coast of Somalia after their ship sank were brought to Kenya on Monday.

The men on board the MV Chang He, a Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship, were rescued in an operation coordinated by the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and other governmental agencies. 

According to an email shared by Falcon Marine Services, the vessel had 12 people on board. 

“On July 14 around 8.31pm, the Nairobi Rescue Coordination Centre (NRCC) received a call from Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) Greece with details of MV Chang He sinking in position 06 50 N / 052 38 E with 12 persons on board who needed immediate assistance,” the email stated.

The Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) in Mombasa also received a Mayday alert from their Nairobi counterpart on the same emergency. 

The first vessel that responded on the same day around 10pm was the Denmark-flagged container vessel MSC Maersk Brooklyn, which was en route to Mombasa from Port Salalah in Oman. 

Last Friday at 6.50am, the crew from the MSC Maersk Brooklyn rescued five sailors from a life raft and one on a lifeboat. T hours later, five more crew members from the ship who were in another life raft were rescued. 

According to the ship's manifest seen by the Nation, there were eight Syrians.

They are Zorariah Ostah (captain), Moustafa Belwnah, Moustafa Aostah, Ali Baher Othman, Ibrahim Ali Marmouh, Malek Adham, Abdullah Alhouzi, Fadi Khalil (cook).

There were four Egyptians – Shawky Ahmed Mohammed and Gomaa Ragab, who were rescued, and Sameh Sayed and Mohamed Gamal, who are still missing. 

Another vessel, the Hafnia Beijing, arrived on the scene on July 15 to help in the rescue mission. 

The two missing sailors were noted to have jumped overboard when the ship started sinking and had their life jackets on. 

The Somali rescue coordination centre is still on the ground searching for the missing sailors. 

Captain Peter Munga, the Kenya Maritime Authority Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre head, told the Nation that the ill-fated vessel was destined for Mombasa from the Maldives islands, where it had refuelled. 

"The vessel carrying them, MSC Maersk Brooklyn, has arrived and certain formalities need to be done. We are making arrangements with embassies for their repatriation but this will be concluded after they are cleared by the port health,” said Mr Munga. 

The official said the 10 were undergoing a medical review to ensure that they were fit to travel. 

“Port formalities have to be adhered to and since it was an emergency, their health concerns are being checked," said Capt Munga.  

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