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Eleven Sailors Rescued From Arabian Sea After Their Ship Sinks

July 6, 1989

MUSCAT, Oman (AP) _ Eleven sailors were rescued from floating wooden planks after their cargo ship sank Wednesday in the Arabian Sea, and at least three others drowned and one was missing, shipping sources said.

The freighter Rahimi, which flies the United Arab Emirates flag, went down with hundreds of sheep that were being ferried from Somalia to the Persian Gulf for the July 13 feast of Eid al-Adha, said the shipping sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Moslems slaughter sheep during the holiday in memory of prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son to God.

The sources said the ship had a crew of 15 Pakistanis and Somalians, and that seven were plucked from the sea by the Western Friend, a Panamanian ship, after clinging for hours to wooden planks. Another four were rescued a few hours later by the Tonbridge, a British vessel, they said.

The sailors were in good condition except for one, who was very weak, said the sources.

The Rahimi caught fire Tuesday night and started sinking about 125 miles south of Masira, the sources said.

The cargo vessel was en route to the United Arab Emirates port of Dubai. The vessel was gutted before it sank in the shark-infested waters, the shipping sources said.

They said bodies of three of the crewmen were found floating and pulled from the water, but that a fourth sailor was unaccounted for. He was last seen jumping from the deck of the Rahimi with a life jacket on, said the sources. His life jacket was found in the sea, they said.

Oman’s air force helped direct the rescue mission and was searching for the missing sailor, the sources said.

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