Bangladesh cargo ship sinks off Thailand coast

Bangladesh’s cargo ship MV Hope sank off the coast of Thailand early on Thursday, Thai media reported.The reason for the capsize is not yet clear, but the 97-metre, 5,550-ton MV Hope broadcast an SOS at 3:57am which was picked up by the Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), “Phuket News” said.
Australian RCC relayed details of the ship’s last known position to its counterpart in Bangkok.
Heading northwest, it ran into heavy crosswinds and waves coming beam-on, “Phuket News” added.
MV Hope’s registering authority, Mercantile Marine Department’s Principal Officer Shafiqul Islam said that the cargo vessel ran into massive waves and stiff crosswinds in the Andaman Sea early on Thursday.
He said the ship was returning with 6545 tonnes of ball clay used in the ceramics industry after picking it up from Lumut port in Malaysia. “Eleven of the 17-member crew of the ship are still missing.”
Shafiqul Islam said that the 23-year old ship, owned by Trade Bridge Shipping LTD, was supposed to return to Chittagong port on July 8.
A Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet helicopter was scrambled and flew out to check the spot of capsize, about 29 nautical miles (54 kilometres) south of Racha Yai.
A navy helicopter and patrol plane are also circling the area, looking for the missing crew members.
A German container ship, the Buxmoon, is also on the scene looking for survivors.
Five members of the crew of the Hope were spotted in a lifeboat and were later picked up by the Buxmoon, which will take them to Bangladesh. They are believed to be fine.
Another crewman, Abu Bakar Siddiqui , was pulled out of the sea injured and was flown aboard a Thai Navy helicopter to Phuket, where he is now recovering in Vachira Phuket Hospital, the “Nation” online said.
But 11 crewmen are still missing, said “Phuket News” and search for them continues.
Rescued crew members say they did get off the sinking ship with life boats but efforts to trace them have not yet been successful.

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