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Lifeboat Spotted In Region Of Missing Ship

January 3, 1994

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) _ A rescue ship pulled alongside a life raft on heavy seas in the North Atlantic late Sunday, but found no survivors from a cargo ship that sank in a storm.

Marika 7, with six Greek officers and a crew of 30 Filipinos aboard, disappeared Saturday in a storm about halfway between Newfoundland and England, said officials.

The ship did not send a distress signal, but search officials dispatched U.S. and Canadian Forces aircraft Saturday after receiving signals from the carrier’s automatic beacon.

Search planes spotted two life rafts and two flares Saturday night, but then had to turn back to refuel, authorities said. It was not until Sunday night that a search plan again spotted a life raft.

Capt. S.M.S. Bisht of the cargo ship Thorsaga said the raft was empty when he pulled alongside 90 minutes later in waves three stories tall.

Earlier, rescuers spotted debris and empty life rings with flares flashing, said a crewman aboard the tanker Freja Svea, one of three ships battling the waves and 50 mph winds to search for survivors. Five aircraft also joined the search.

The Marika 7 was equipped with three rubber rafts, two fiberglass boats and six survival suits, said Canadian Forces Lt.-Cmdr. Jeff Agnew, a spokesman at the rescue coordination center in Halifax.

The 900-foot Marika 7 disappeared about 900 miles east of Newfoundland. It was carrying iron ore, and had left Sept-Iles, Quebec, last Monday bound for the Netherlands.

Since 1990, more than 500 seamen have died aboard dozens of bulk carriers that have sunk worldwide.

A second ship, the oil tanker Malik II, was damaged and without power in the North Atlantic, about 125 miles east of Newfoundland.

Two Canadian government vessels were expected to reach the ship, which has a Swedish captain and a crew of one Dane and 11 Poles, on Sunday and tow it back to St. John’s, Newfoundland, the rescue center reported.

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