A massive cargo ship carrying cars sank in the Persian Gulf Thursday amid treacherous seas, authorities said.
The United Arab Emirates-flagged vessel, the Al Salmy 6, sank off Iran’s southern coast with 30 crew members aboard. Iranian rescue workers saved 16 of the crew and another 11 survivors got onto life rafts, Capt. Nizar Qaddoura of the Dubai-based Salem Al Makrani Cargo company said.
Another person was retrieved from the choppy seas by a nearby tanker, but two crew members were still in the sea, Qaddoura said. Rescue efforts were under way, but were hampered by bad weather.
The cargo ship, which is longer than a soccer field, capsized roughly 30 miles off the coast of Asaluyeh in Iran, according to its Ports & Maritime Organization.
Photos showed the ship, which departed Dubai days earlier, tilted dramatically onto its side at a precarious angle before becoming fully submerged. Her crew consists of nationals from Sudan, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, Qaddoura said.
The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast, did not immediately return a request for comment, the Associated Press reported.
Severe weather descended onto the Persian Gulf Wednesday — with wind gusts exceeding 40 mph and high seas. Iran’s Meteorological Organization issued a “red alert” earlier this week, warning of possible impact to maritime activities through Saturday.
With Post wires