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Five Survivors Who Abandoned Hope Reach Home and Families

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
PHUKET: Five survivors of the MV Hope capsize at sea off Phuket have been greeted by tearful family in Bangladesh and told their version of the night a storm drove them to abandon ship.

The five were plucked to safety by MV Bux Moon, a container vessel that reached the outer anchorage of Chittagong on Sunday night. The captain is among six crew still missing.

The survivors, brought to shore on Monday, broke down in tears as soon as they found their families, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Abdul Hakim, the Hope's fourth engineer, said that during the storm, the ship tilted by 40-50 degrees and all 17 crew members had to jump into the water.

Only 12 crew managed to jump on a liferaft floating in the sea, he said.

Saiful Islam, the steward, said the liferaft also overturned and seven of the crew slipped off the raft.

The captain managed to send a distress signal before giving the order to abandon the ship.

After eight hours in the water, the container vessel MV Bux Moon rescued the five who remained on the raft.

A sixth man was rescue by a Royal Thai Navy helicopter after 13 hours in the water. Three more rescues were carried out the following day.

Those four were brought to shore on Phuket and were being treated at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City. They will be repatriated as soon as possible.

Of the five survivors who reached Chittagong, deck cadet Moklesur Rahman and deck fitter Mohammed Rubel have been admitted to a hospital.

Dr Mahmud Shah Abrarsaid said the men were suffering from drinking salt water and minor cuts and scrapes. ''We hope we would be able to release them within a day,'' he told the newspaper.

MV Hope was heading for Chittagong from Malaysia with imported raw materials for manufacturing ceramics.

Two bodies recovered by the Thai Navy have been identified as Mahabub Morshed, chief officer, and Kazi Saifuddin, chief engineer of the vessel.

Captain Rajib Chandra Karmakar, second engineer Nizam Uddin, electrician Sadddam Ali, AB Nasir Uddin, chief cook Nasir Uddin and oiler Ali Hossain, remain missing.

It's reported that rather than tow the tilted vessel to Phuket, the Hope is being taken to Langkawi in Malaysia.

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