Cargo ship SINKS in Persian Gulf off Iran with 30 crew on board as desperate rescue is launched

A CARGO ship has sunk in the Persian Gulf off Iran with 30 crew on board, local reports claim.

Emergency services launched a desperate rescue mission after the Emirati-flagged ship Al Salmy 6 sank 30 miles off Iran's coast of Asaluyeh on Thursday.

Captain Nizar Qaddoura, an operations manager of the Salem Al Makrani Cargo company, which owns the ship, said the vessel encountered rough and stormy weather and then capsized.

He said rescuers had saved 16 crew members while another 11 had made it onto a life raft.

One person was saved by a nearby tanker and two crew members were still in the water.

Iranian state media IRNA said the country's searchers were trying to rescue those at sea.


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Port authorities told IRNA that crews have encountered rough and windy conditions at sea.

Marine tracking data suggests the vessel was the roll-on roll-off cargo ship Al Salmy 6.

Salem Al Makrani Cargo company has declined to immediately comment.

Images released by IRNA and Iranian state television matched with the Al Salmy 6.

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The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols in the Mideast, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The crew consisted of nationals from Sudan, India, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, Qaddoura, confirmed Captain Qaddoura.

The vessel has been on its way to Umm Qasr, Iraq, carrying cars and other cargo.

The Persian Gulf is a major waterway for trade and is the route taken by companies shipping oil and gas from Gulf Arab nations.

Vessel sinking in this stretch of sea is rare, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dust storms and other destructive weather has swept through the region as part of seasonal changes, causing chaos for ships on the trade route.

Severe weather pounded the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, Iran's state-run meteorological body reported.

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Iran's Meteorological Organization warned of powerful wind gusts with the potential to disrupt the maritime activities.

Winds speeds are said to have exceeded 40mph in Iran's Bushehr province.

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