NATIONAL

Navy joins operation to search for Indian sailors

Late on Sunday night, the Indian Navy despatched a Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine warfare aircraft to help in the search and rescue of 10 missing crew members of the Hong Kong registered merchant vessel m.v. Emerald Star , which sank off the Philippines coast on Friday.

Japanese and Philippines Coast Guard vessels, and other ships, continued to be on the lookout for the ten missing sailors. m.v. Emerald Star had 26 crew members, many of them from Tamil Nadu. Eleven crew members were rescued by m.v. Densa Cobra and are currently in Xiamen, China. Five, who were rescued by m.v. SM Samarinda , are in the Philippines.

The P-8I carried ten men, inflatable boats and food, and began operations early on Monday morning after reaching Vilamor Air Base in Manila, the Navy tweeted. “Five Indian crew members of Emerald Star are in Irene, Philippines. Our mission is to bring them to Manila before repatriation to India,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, tweeted. He said India’s Guangzhou Consulate officials visited the injured crew in a hospital in Xiamen.

Minster of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj spoke to the wife of the Captain of the ship, Rajesh Ramachandran Nair, on Sunday, a friend of Mr. Rajesh told The Hindu. “He has two young children and his family is worried,” Mr. Ramesh Nair said.

Third Officer Giridhar Kumar Subramaniam, who hails from Pollachi and is among the 10 missing, got married only recently, his cousin Usha said.

“He has a one-month-old baby. His wife is extremely worried.”

“Information from those rescued is that everyone wore life jackets at the time of abandoning the ship. Hopefully they will be found soon,” Raghu Bharathi, cousin of oiler Murugan Gowtham, who hails from Madurai, said.

Recommended for you