Five Indians died as ship sinks near Oman

Dubai: An Indian ship sank off the coast of southern Oman, drowning five Indian sailors and leaving nine others missing. The ship MSV Shiv Sagar MNV 2169 sank near the southern Dhofar region of Oman yesterday, local media reports said.

Six sailors were rescued after the Omani coast guards and naval vessels launched a rescue operation but nine others are still missing, the Gulf news reported. The southern Dhofar region was hit by torrential rains this week, flooding the region and killing 12 people.

The Met authorities in the region had on Friday cautioned fishermen and other seafarers to check the condition of the sea over the next 24 hours before venturing out. The rescued sailors were initially taken to the Sadah Hospital for treatment. They were being kept at the police station in Sadah city, which is located around 140 km from Salalah in southern Oman as the rescuers searched for the missing.

The nine missing sailors were identified as Captain Prabhulal, Engineer Suresh, Lalji, Bharat, Mohan Mehta, Ashraf Asam, Yusuf Saamra, Suleiman Haji Sumara and Hussain Sumaraa. The Indian sailors had travelled from Gujarat to Dubai and were headed towards Salalah when they were caught up in strong winds around the time tropical cyclone Keila passed through. "It seems their boat was damaged by the strong wind and sank," the Gulf News quoted a source as saying.

Omani vessels were guarding the coastal area following the tropical storm when the boat sank. All the rescued sailors were from Gujarat. "It is strange that the rescued sailors have been locked up and I have urged the Indian embassy to take up the matter with the local authorities," P M Jabir, Indian Social Club Welfare Secretary, was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.