A freight ship sunk early on Thursday amid strong winds in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa, killing seven crew members, government and naval officials said. At least 13 crew members were rescued, but one died later in an Aden hospital, government officials said. Six sailors drowned in the sinking.
The 97-meter ship was owned by al-Hufuf Maritime Co, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, but it sailed under the flag of Panama, a Yemeni official said on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the media.
The official gave the breakdown of the seven dead sailors as four Indians, and one from Tanzania, Borneo and Somalia. The ship was carrying 5,000 tons of cement on a trip from Oman to Zanzibar, another naval official said on condition of anonymity. The official said the ship sank near Socotra, a Yemeni island that lies about 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of the Somalian tip of Africa and 600 miles (960 kilometers) east of the Yemeni port of Aden.
Yemen's official news agency reported the ship's name was "Mer Yam," and that Yemeni coast guard vessels and other foreign ships rescued the survivors and retrieved bodies from the water. Strong winds hit Socotra in July and August each year, with speeds sometimes reaching 13 to 18 kilometers an hour, the agency said.