Iran rescues 11 Indian sailors after boat sinks on way to Oman

The vessel, carrying a shipment of sugar, sank four miles off the Iranian coast amid bad weather in the Gulf

The Indian sailors were on their way to Oman when their boat sank during bad weather. AFP

Iranian coastguards rescued 11 Indian sailors whose vessel sank due to bad weather on its way to Oman, state media reported on Wednesday.

“The boat — that was heading to the port of Sohar in Oman yesterday — came towards Iranian waters due to storms, bad weather and technical problems,” acting governor of Jask County, Ali Mehrani, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.

The vessel was transporting sugar, and sank four nautical miles off Gabrik district in southern Hormozgan province, overlooking the Gulf of Oman, Mr Mehrani added.

“The general condition of the crew is good,” he said.

Bad weather has affected not only southern Iran but also the Gulf in recent days, with several countries in the region issuing weather warnings.

The rainy weather system, expected to last until Friday in Iran, has caused flash flooding in southern provinces such as Fars, Hormozgan, Kerman and Sistan-Baluchistan.

The number of people who have died because of the flooding has risen to nine, the head of Iran's Crisis Management Organisation Esmail Najjar said.

Five people died in Fars province, and two in both Kerman and Sistan-Baluchistan, Mr Najjar told ISNA news agency on Wednesday.

Local rescue services had reported eight deaths on Tuesday.

Rescue workers assisting a vehicle stuck in floods in Hormozgan Province in southern Iran. AFP

The government will provide its “full capacity” to help people in affected areas, President Ebrahim Raisi pledged on Wednesday.

“It is necessary to fix the situation of the people immediately after the initial relief operation, so that they do not get into trouble,” he was quoted as saying by state media.

At his instruction, a number of officials, including Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian, visited the flood-hit areas.

Mr Mehrabian told a crisis management meeting in Sistan-Baluchistan that “there is a national determination to resolve the problems,” state TV said.

Largely arid, Iran has endured repeated droughts over the past decade, but also regular floods.

In 2019, heavy flooding in the country's south resulted in the 76 deaths and caused damage estimated at more than $2 billion.

Scientists say climate change amplifies droughts and their intensity and frequency in turn threaten food security.

Updated: January 5th 2022, 6:00 PM