September 17, 2021

Man stranded in sea for 49 hours is rescued after cargo ship sank off Liberia coast

July 22, 2021

The rescue of a man who was stranded in the sea for 49 hours has been captured on video.

Sea Shepherd, a non-profit marine conservation organisation, and the Liberian coastguard came to the aid of crew members of the Niko Ivanka cargo ship after it sank off the coast of Liberia last Saturday.

The Liberian-registered vessel left the capital Monrovia on 17 July for a port in the West African country's south, despite being under a detention order for failing to meet basic safety requirements.

It sent out a distress signal that afternoon, notifying the coastguard that it had taken on water. By the time authorities arrived, it had already partially sunk.

Eighteen people were on the ship's manifest, 11 of whom had been rescued during a 36-hour search, head of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Eugene Nagbe, told reporters on Sunday.

But those rescued said that there were in fact about 28 people on board, leaving 17 missing.

On Monday, Sea Shepherd announced they had rescued a man 49 hours after the ship sank.

The precise number of passengers remains unknown, deputy information minister Jarlaywah Tonpoe told Reuters.

"The vessel was not a passenger-authorised vessel and yet it had passengers on board," Mr Tonpoe said.

It was not clear how or why the ship was able to leave harbour or whether it was carrying any cargo at the time. The vessel's owner, a Chinese national, was arrested on Sunday afternoon, Mr Nagbe said.

Among those listed on the manifest were a Swedish captain, a Chinese crew member, and nine members of West Africa's regional school examinations body.

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