In Search For Missing Sailors, Navy's Poseidon 8-India Makes 2 Sorties

On Friday, the 33,205-tonne Emerald Star, with 26 Indians on board, sent a distress signal when a typhoon struck.

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In Search For Missing Sailors, Navy's Poseidon 8-India Makes 2 Sorties

Cargo ship Emerald Star with 26 Indian nationals on board sank off Okinawa on Friday.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Families urged Centre to intensify search for 10 missing sailors
  2. Navy's Poseidon 8-India aircraft joined search for the sailors today
  3. Some of the rescued Indians are undergoing treatment in Xiamen
The navy's Poseidon 8-India (P8I) aircraft has joined the massive search for 10 sailors missing after their ship, struck by a storm, sank in the Pacific off the Philippines last week. Two search flights have failed to produce results, say officials.

On Friday, the 33,205-tonne Emerald Star, with 26 Indians on board, sent a distress signal when a typhoon struck. Sixteen sailors were rescued by ships nearby. The Indian missions in the Philippines, Japan and China have launched a search for the missing sailors.

In its first flight yesterday for six hours, the P8I aircraft covered 24,000 nautical miles around the last known position of the ship. Today, the aircraft conducted its second search flight for eight hours.

An inverted lifeboat, about 10 metre long, was all that the navy plane spotted. The boat had already been searched by the Japanese Coast Guard, which told Indian officials that no survivors or bodies were found near it.

The P8I, a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, has an inflatable dinghy and emergency food and water supplies to drop in the sea if any survivors are spotted.

There's anxiety among the families of the sailors in India.

Among those missing is Goutham from Tamil Nadu. "I only request central and state government to concentrate on Emerald too. We are in deep anxiety...we are looking for his safe return. Hope the government returns our family member safely," said Prabhu, his cousin.

The 27-year-old engineer's Madurai-based father Murugan said: "So far, not a single official from the state or central government has contacted us. We are only hearing from the media. On Friday, the shipping company's official informed us first."

Five Indian crew members of "Emerald Star" are in Irene, the Philippines, and the country's mission is bringing them to Manila before sent them back to India.

In a series of tweets, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said: "Indian Embassy in Japan has informed me that a helicopter and 2 patrol vessels of Japan Coast Guard are engaged in search/rescue operations."


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