Bangalore : Two sailors of an overseas cargo ship, MV Den-Den, drowned Saturday when the vessel capsized off the Mangalore coast in southern Karnataka.
Dakshina Kannada district superintendent of police B. Dayanand told IANS on phone that the remaining 23 crewmembers were rescued in a daylong operation after the ship, loaded with crude waste, began sinking about 250 metres from the western coast, about 330 km from here.
"The ship finally overturned due to high winds and high sea. Bad weather and incessant rains hampered the rescue operation. The two sailors, who jumped out of the sinking ship, perished in the Arabian Sea," he said.
The drowned sailors have been identified as Eritrean nationals. Among those rescued are Egyptians, Sri Lankans and Pakistanis.
"The ship was anchored near the port at Panambur two days ago to load furnace slag, a crude waste from the Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL). It was to leave for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) Friday but could not due to heavy rains and a rough sea," Dayanand said.
The Indian Coast Guard joined the rescue operation even as the vessel began to sink after it failed to sail due to an engine trouble. Efforts to send a helicopter to airlift the crew failed as bad weather hampered the operation.
"The anchor broke late Friday and the vessel drifted away from the port due to high winds and heavy rains," the police official said.