A man stranded at sea for 49 hours after the cargo vessel he was on-board sunk, was rescued. The rescue efforts were filmed on video. The vessel that he was on board, Niko Ivanka, had a Liberian registration and sunk sank off the coast of Liberia. It was travelling from the Liberian capital Monrovia to a port in the country’s south last Saturday. The ship was sailing despite having failed to meet the safety standards and already being placed in detention.
The vessel manifest recorded eighteen people, including the rescued man. The listed passengers include a Swedish captain, a Chinese crew and nine members from a regional school examinations body of West Africa. It sent out a distress signal the same day it left, notifying coast guards that the vessel had taken on water. However, by the time the authorities reached, the vessel had partially sunk.
Liberian coast guards launched rescue efforts in collaboration with Sea Shepherd, a non-profit marine conservation group. Eugene Nagbe, the head of the Liberia Maritime Authority, stated that 11 people from the vessel have been rescued so far in the 36-hour rescue operation.
However, rescued persons told reporters that there were, in reality, about 28 persons on board, which means that 17 persons are still unaccounted for.
The Liberian Observed Online stated that three bodies of persons onboard Niko Ivanka washed ashore on the beach of Cape Mount. Cape Mount is a county located in western Liberia.
Sea Shepherd, the non-profit conservation group involved in the rescue operations, declared that they had rescued a man the same day at the sea for 49 hours after the vessel sank. The group also announced that one of their vessels, Sam Simon was the first to arrive on the scene at 11 p.m. They stated that torrents of rain and darkness obscured the vessel debris in the water. They, however, spotted six survivors aboard a life raft at 11.16 a.m.
The six persons rescued told media persons that they were in the water for about nine hours.
Sam Simon, the first vessel to arrive on the scene, told media persons that they heard voices calling for help. They managed to rescue another five people after spending around 13 hours in the water. Two out of the five rescued were wearing life jackets, and the other three held onto them.
According to Jarlaywah Tonpe, the deputy information minister, the exact number of people on the Niko Ivanka is unclear. He told media persons, “The vessel wasn’t a designated passenger-authorised and still it carried passengers on board. So there will be an investigation on it in coming days.’
Nagbe, while briefing media persons, said that Niko Ivanka’s owner, a Chinese national, has been taken into custody on Sunday afternoon. However, it is not yet sure how the vessel managed to depart from the harbour or carry any cargo when it left.
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