Panama-registered ship MV Bingo, with a predominantly Chinese crew, sank off near the Sagar Island in the Bay of Bengal on Saturday evening, though the accident reportedlyhad nothing to do with cyclone Phailin.
“The crew members have been located 45 nautical miles (one nautical mile = 1.85 km) away by an aircraft of the Coast Guard. They (Coast Guard) are sending a vessel to bring them back,” Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) chairman RPS Kahlon told PTI on Sunday afternoon.
However, the ship has not been traced, he said.
Officials of the Kolkata Port Trust, including deputy chairman I Jeyakumar, said they were in contact with the crew, from whom radio communication had been received that they had set sail by lifeboat. The vessel sank at 6pm near the sandheads, which is around 200 km to the south of Kolkata. Search operations were launched by helicopter during the day. According to KoPT sources, of the 18 crew members, 17 are Chinese and one an Indonesian.
The ship was carrying 8,000 tonnes of iron ore and was sailing to China. It left Haldia port on October 8.