[ECNA] cordigliera sinks off port st johns

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[ECNA] cordigliera sinks off port st johns ma...@ecna.ru.ac.za 11/14/96 12:00 AM

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        Cordigliera sinks off Port St Johns: 23 feared dead
           GRAHAMSTOWN (14 November 1996 8.15) - Hope for 23 missing
sailors is rapidly fading as bad weather sets in over the Transkei
           Strong winds and heavy seas are hampering search efforts and
five lifeboats from the 12 000-ton Panamanian-registered cargo ship
Cordigliera have been found - without any sign of life.
           Chief radio operator at Durban Radio Lindsay Lines told Ecna
this morning: "It looks like their is no hope at the moment that we
will find any survivors."
           He said the Cordigliera sent a distress call to Durban Radio at
10:30 pm last night requesting immediate assitance due to a leak in
a hold.
           Lines said the two nearest vessels to the Cordigliera, the
Boundary and the Bunga Masatu, which were more than an 90 minutes
away from the stricken vessel had responded to the mayday call.
           "The first lifeboat was found at 2am with nobody onboard. A
second was found capsized and we later found three other empty
lifeboats," Lines said.
           He said 25-30 winds, white horses and rain - as well as three
to four metre swells were hampering the rescue operation.
           "We found lots of oil slicks and debri, but the ship has
already sun. All this is taking place seven miles offshore," lines
           An airforce helicopter was dispatched to the scene to assist in
the search. - Ecna.
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