Rescue workers combed the stormy waters off Lebanon on Friday after a cargo ship capsized, killing at least nine crewmembers and leaving dozens missing.
The Panamanian—flagged cargo ship carrying livestock went down on Thursday in heavy rain.
A senior Lebanese army officer said 35 people were still missing. Of the 83 crewmembers on board, 39 were rescued and nine bodies were retrieved, said the officer on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The crew members were from Britain, Australia, Russia, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Uruguay, the state—run National News Agency reported.
Nicola Dazies, a political officer at the British Embassy confirmed there were two British citizens on the ship. Their fate is still unknown, she said. Dazies added that a British consular team was working with the Lebanese authorities on this matter.
Rescue operations were continuing despite high waves. Red Cross workers helped several dazed survivors, covered in woolen blankets, into ambulances Friday; one man, unable to walk, grimaced as a rescue worker carried him over his shoulder.
One man who was rushed into an ambulance identified himself as a citizen of Uruguay. After speaking with him, Uruguay’s ambassador Jorge Jure told The Associated Press “he feels very good. Look, he’s very good.”
Another man who was carried on a stretcher into an ambulance and had his right hand bandaged only said he is from Pakistan.
The rescue effort was being carried out by the Lebanese navy, U.N. peacekeeping force, two civilian ships and two British helicopters from Cyprus.
The ship was believed to have been sailing from Uruguay to Syria, carrying thousands of sheep and other livestock. It went down Thursday afternoon some 11 miles (17 kilometers) from the Lebanese port city of Tripoli.
Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for the UNIFIL peacekeeping force, identified the vessel as the Danny F II.
Last week, a freighter heading to an Israeli port sank in stormy weather in international waters near the Lebanese coast. Six of its 12 crew members were rescued. That ship was headed from Greece to the northern Israeli port of Haifa.
Keywords: Tripoli, Lebanon, cargo ship, crew members, Nicola DaziesBritain, Australia, Russia, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Uruguay, Nicola Dazies, Red Cross workers, Lebanese navy, U.N. peacekeeping force, civilian ships, British helicopters, Cyprus.