Egypt Navy rescues crew of capsized Lebanese cargo ship

'Ayla' was carrying 3.9 tonnes of scrap metal when it sank in the Mediterranean just off Alexandria

Egyptian Navy officials with the crew of the Lebanon-registered 'Ayla', a cargo ship that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Egyptian Armed Forces

Egyptian naval forces rescued the crew of a Lebanese cargo ship after it sank in the Mediterranean just off Alexandria.

The 10-man crew of nine Syrian nationals and one Indian were all rescued, Egypt’s armed forces said on Monday.

The Alexandria port authority received a distress signal from the Lebanese vessel on Saturday and the Egyptian Al Arish rescue vessel was sent to offer aid.

The sunken vessel was named Ayla, the military said.

The vessel’s crew were given medical aid upon their return to shore before being taken to representatives of their nations in Egypt.

A crew member receives medical attention after the 'Ayla' capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off Alexandria. Photo: Egyptian Armed Forces

The 98-metre vessel, which was carrying 3.9 tonnes of scrap metal, according to local media, was almost submerged when rescue teams arrived on the scene.

The capsize was caused by the ship tilting severely due to strong winds and uneven currents.

Egypt’s prosecutor-general has launched an investigation to determine the extent of the environmental pollution caused.

The weather took a turn for the worse in Egypt last week, when temperatures dropped significantly and strong winds were recorded in many parts of the country.

On Friday, the Red Sea Port Authority announced that it would be closing the large port of Sharm El Sheikh owing to bad weather. It said that ships should avoid open water until weather conditions stabilised.

Updated: March 14, 2022, 3:55 PM