In a miracle, a man was rescued 48 hours after his cargo ship sank near the coast of Liberia in an incident where 11 people have been rescued and 17 others are still missing.
The man was rescued by marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd and the Liberian coastguard off the coast of the West African nation.
The Niko Ivanka cargo ship had left the Liberian capital Monrovia on July 17 for another port even after it was forbidden to do so due to a failure to meet the basic safety requirements.
Later that afternoon, the ship’s crew sent a distress signal. The ship had partially sunk by the time help arrived.
There were 19 people on board the ship as per the official record. Eleven people were rescued within 36 hours after the distress signal was sent, Liberian Maritime Authority spokesperson, Eugene Nagbe, said.
However, the people who were rescued from the waters said that there were 28 people on the ship. This means that 17 people are still unaccounted for.
Liberia’s deputy information minister Jarlaywah Tonpoe told Reuters that the exact number of people on board the Niko Ivanka remains unknown. “The vessel was not a passenger-authorized vessel and yet it had passengers on board. So in the coming days, the investigation will establish how many people were on board,” Tonpoe said.
Sea Shepherd on Monday confirmed that one more survivor was rescued from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean around 48 hours after the ship sank.
It was unclear how or why the ship was able to leave harbour or whether it was carrying any cargo at the time. The vessel’s owner was arrested on Sunday afternoon.