Seven Missing After Storm Capsizes Landing Craft in Strait of Hormuz

mehr news
File image courtesy Mehr News (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Published Dec 27, 2020 10:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

A powerful storm swept through the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, capsizing an Iranian landing craft and leaving seven crewmembers missing, according to the government-run Mehr News.

The storm, which also stranded and killed 12 climbers in the Alborz mountain range north of Tehran, capsized the vessel at a position about 25 miles to the southeast of Larak Island - roughly the midpoint of the Strait of Hormuz. Esmail Makizadeh, an official with the Hormozgan province's ports and navigation bureau, said that a search effort has been launched for the seven-member crew. 

Makizadeh told Mehr News that the Hormozgan search and rescue coordination center received a relayed distress alert about the landing craft, which had sustained flooding. The authorities dispatched a search and rescue lifeboat from Qeshm Island and called for assistance from nearby merchant vessels to participate in the effort. 

The poor weather hampered the operation, and the search began in earnest in the early hours of Saturday morning. At about 1530 hours Saturday afternoon, the capsized vessel was located off the port town of Kouhestak, Iran, in the Strait of Hormuz. 

According to Makizadeh, Iranian responders mobilized all available resources and have alerted passing vessels to be on the lookout for survivors. Rescue officials in nearby Oman, the UAE and Pakistan have also been notified.