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10 Indians missing since October in ship capsize declared ‘not found’

MV Emerald Star with 26 Indians sank on October 13. While 16 Indians were rescued, remaining 10 could not be found, tweeted external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2017 20:55 IST
Indo Asian News Service, New Delhi
Indians missing,Ship capsize,Japan
The Hong Kong-registered cargo ship Emerald Star sank some 600 km south of Ishigaki island of Okinawa on October 13. (Representative Photo)

The government on Saturday finally declared that the 10 Indians who went missing after a merchant ship sank off the coast of Japan last month “could not be found”.

“MV Emerald Star with 26 Indians sank on October 13, 2017,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

“While 16 Indians were rescued, remaining 10 could not be found. There was extensive search by Japan and Philippines which was joined by Indian Navy,” she said.

Those missing included Captain Nair Rajesh Ramachandran, Second Officer Rahul Kumar, Third Officer Subramaniam Giridhar Kumar, Chief Engineer Rajput Shyam Singh, Fourth Engineer Subbiah Suresh Kumar, Junior Engineer Chauhan Ashok Kumar, Perumalsamy Gurumurthy, Malavaranan Silambarasan, Murugan Gowtham and Bevin Thomas.

Japan’s 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters based in Naha, Okinawa, on October 13 said it had received an emergency call from the 33,205-tonne ship around 2 a.m. local time (5 p.m. GMT, October 12).

The Japan Coast Guard said it had dispatched patrol boats and aircraft to rescue the missing crew, but the operations were hampered by a raging typhoon.

Following this, Swaraj said 11 crew members were rescued by the ship Densa Cobra, registered in Xiamen, China, and five more by Samarinda, registered in the Philippines.

In her tweets, Sushma Swaraj said that India continued search for the missing Indians on nearby islands.

“Philippine Coast Guard have now informed us that an unidentified decomposed body of with a life jacket marking Emerald Star was found on October 28 on the island city of Banua,” she said. “Since the body was decomposed, it was buried there.”

The external affairs minister said she has asked Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar that the body be exhumed and brought to Manila for identification by DNA.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 20:55 IST