Pakistan navy
Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency conducted a joint operation at 180 Nautical Miles South of Karachi and rescued crew of MV SUVARI H. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency in a joint operation rescued 15 crew members from a sinking cargo ship off the coast of Karachi coast.

The joint rescue operation was carried out at 180 nautical miles south of Karachi in the exclusive economic zone of the Pakistani sea, Pakistan Navy said.

Emergency response teams scrambled to protect the lives of the crew of the cargo ship after the navy was alerted that the merchant vessel (MV) Suvari H was stranded due to strong winds and tide with 18 crew members on board.

Pakistan Navy aircraft on air surveillance was directed to the sinking site and one PMSA aircraft and one ship were also immediately dispatched for assistance. “Pakistan Navy in coordination with PMSA immediately tasked ships and aircraft to provide assistance to the stranded ship and save precious lives,” the official statement said.

Initially, eight crew members and later five more seafarers were rescued with the help of life rafts. At least 15 crew members had been rescued, while the search and rescue operation continues to locate three missing members, the statement said.

All crew members belonged to Syria. The vessel, sailing under a Togo flag, was en route from Kandla, India, to Bosaso, Somalia.

On July 29, Pakistan Navy and other maritime organisations successfully defueled the cargo ship MV Heng Tong 77 stranded at Karachi beach after losing its anchors in rough weather on July 21.