Posted on September 13, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Bangladesh lighter vessel, Hera Parbat-8 sank into the Chattogram Bay during the early morning hours of September the 12th.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 am, in the Sandwip Channel near the Sangu gas field.
According to initial reports, the ship had just finished loading coal from a mother vessel that had been anchored at the port’s outer anchorage.
However, the lighter vessel encountered adverse weather conditions and capsized due to the heavy rains present in the area.
Allegedly, the capsizing was tied to a crack that had begun to develop on the vessel. The Hera Parbat-8 was crewed by 12 people at the time, most of which are considered missing at this time.
"Hera Parbat-8 began loading coal from a mother vessel named Ionic Spirit the day before yesterday (Tuesday). But it could not leave the port yesterday due to inclement weather. It eventually set sail early in the morning today before facing the disaster in the waters near the Sagu gas field.
"We have come to know that 12 sailors were on board the ship. A few of them have been rescued but most are still missing. The Coast Guard and the Navy are carrying out a search operation," said Mahbub Rashid, executive director of Water Transport Cell, a company that allocates the lighter vessels operating in the area.
Following the capsizing, the crew of another vessel, the Mercantile-24 saw the crew of the Hera Parbat-8 in the water but could not attempt to rescue them due to the adverse weather conditions in the area.
At the time of writing, three seafarers have been rescued but 9 remain missing.
A joint team consisting of the Bangladeshi Navy, Bangladeshi Coast Guard and Bangladeshi Air Force have started a search operation in order to locate the missing seafarers.