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12 Indians rescued from sinking vessel by French navy ship in Persian Gulf

12 Indians rescued from sinking vessel by French navy ship in Persian Gulf

New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Twelve Indians were rescued from a sinking vessel in the Persian Gulf by a French Navy ship on Tuesday, the French embassy said in a statement here.Those recused were crew members of the Durban Queen bearing a Saint Kitts and Nevis flag. Despite some minor injuries, they are safe and in good health, it said. The French Navy Cassard-class anti-aircraft frigate, part of Task Force (TF) 55 in the Persian Gulf, was on a patrolling mission and was preparing for replenishment at sea with the USS Kanawha when it intercepted a distress signal from Durban Queen. The sender indicated that his ship was sinking, the statement said. "The listing ship was soon spotted at seven nautical miles. Under the operational control of the French Joint Forces Commander in the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN), the Cassard-class frigate dispatched its aircraft, a Panther from the 36F Flotilla, which had just landed on the helipad after finishing a maritime surveillance sortie," the statement said.When the helicopter reached the spot, the vessel had capsized minutes ago, forcing its Indian crew to cling to the overturned hull. Moments later, it began sinking. The chopper with two pilots, a diver and a helihoisting operator began lifting the shipwrecked crew. "In the first run, four sailors were transported to the nearest vessel, a merchant ship. In the second and the third runs, four people, including the injured, were brought aboard the Cassard and attended to by its medical team," the statement added.Eight of the crew members, assisted by the Cassard, were sent to the Sea Princess, a cruise ship.This is the Cassard's second rescue mission in less than seven days in the Indian Ocean maritime zone, the statement added. In September, a French vessel had rescued injured Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy, whose sailing vessel 'Turiya' was dismasted in South Indian Ocean. ALINDIEN controls the French forces present in its zone of permanent responsibility, which comprises 14 countries for the terrestrial part, and from the South of the Suez Canal to the western limits of the waters of Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia for the maritime part (CZM). PTI PR RT