Emerald Star capsizes off Philippines coast: Search on for 10 missing Indian crew members, says MEA

The government is using aircraft and vessels to search for the 10 missing crew members of the cargo ship that sank in the Pacific off the Philippines last week, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

The 33,205-tonne Emerald Star with 26 Indian nationals on board sent a distress signal early on Friday as the Hong Kong-registered vessel was sailing some 280 kilometres (174 miles) east of the northern tip of the Philippines, said a statement from the Japanese coastguard, which received the distress signal.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that 11 crew members were rescued by the ship Densa Cobra, registered in Xiamen, China and five more by Samarinda, registered in the Philippines.

Search for the missing members is still going on using aircraft and vessels, he added.

The Hindu quoted officials of Vridhi Maritime Pvt Ltd, which manages the ship, as saying that they have not received any update on the status of the missing crew. The spokesperson of the company said that they are awaiting information on those missing, the report added.

Raveesh Kumar in a tweet on Sunday, listed the names of the missing and saved crew members.

The external affairs ministry has also announced helpline numbers for information related to the sinking. Those seeking information can get in touch with the MEA control room on 0091-11-23012113/ 0091-11-23017905 and 0091-11-23015300 or at controlroom@mea.gov.in.

Emerald Star capsizes off Philippines coast: Search on for 10 missing Indian crew members, says MEA

Representational image. AP

The Indian Navy has also dispatched one of its aircraft for maritime reconnaissance to assist in search and rescue operations, The New Indian Express reported.

"One P-8I aircraft took off at 11.45 pm on Sunday for Manila to search for missing sailors of MV Emerald Star," the navy official said, according to the report.

P8I is a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The aircraft is carrying two SAR kits that contain a 10-men inflatable dinghy, emergency food and water supply onboard which can be dropped near the survivors, The Hindu reported.

The Japanese coastguard too has sent out two patrol boats and three planes to the site, but the typhoon made a rescue difficult.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 15:04:51 IST

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