Iran could rescue 29 of 30 crew members on board an Emirati cargo vessel that sank in the Gulf due to rough seas and strong winds. A rescue operation was ongoing to find the only missing crew member, an emergency response official informed the Irna news agency.
Two helicopters and rescue vessels had been dispatched after Al Salmy 6 sank almost about 48km from the Assaluyeh port on Thursday. Winds had been blowing at over 70km/h at the time.
The operations manager of the firm that reportedly owns Al Salmy 6, Salem Al Makrani Cargo Company reported that the 138m-long Emirati car transporter was sailing toward the Umm Qasr port in Iraq.
Poor weather caused the vessel to lean at a dangerous angle, Capt Nizar Qaddoura informed. He added that, however, it fully submerged within hours.
The crew members belonged to Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, India, and Ethiopia. Besides being a port, Asalouyeh is also a major petrochemicals hub on the Gulf coast toward the southeast of Bushehr.
Despite close relations with the West, the UAE has continued to be Iran’s major trade partner. In 2016, these countries downgraded their diplomatic relations after the severance of ties between Gulf Arab and Iran heavyweight Saudi Arabia, an Emirati ally.
However, a visit to Tehran by a senior UAE official in December had prompted talks of making their relations better.
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