Salla-2 cargo ship sunk on Lebanese coast, six crew members transferred to Israeli hospital

Date: 13/10/2009, 12:28 PM    

On Saturday evening (Dec. 12), Israeli Air Force (IAF) and Israel Navy (IN) forces rescued five crew members of the Salla-2 cargo ship that sunk, on Saturday morning, a few dozen kilometers off the coast of Tyre in Lebanon.

An additional sailor, who was located on a life boat close to the sinking point, was rescued earlier and was transferred for medical treatment to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. IN boats and IAF helicopters are continuing to help with the search for additional missing crew members.

Distress signals from Salla-2, which was bound for the Haifa port, were received around 2am, and IN and UNIFIL boats immediately went out to the rescue.

Additional Salla-2 crew members, most of them apparently from Ukraine, are still missing, and IAF, IN and UNIFIL forces are continuing to search for them. Israel Army Radio reports that the Trauma Department of the Rambam Hospital is prepared to receive additional survivors of the incident. It was also reported that the search for the missing crew members is particularly difficult because of the bad weather conditions and the high waves.

The Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, thanked the IDF (Zahal) forces for their rescue operation and said: “The involved forces demonstrated and are still demonstrating decisiveness and professionalism in the rescue of human life. I am proud of them and bless them for their professional and courageous operation.”

Throughout the last few months, the Israel Navy participated in a number of search and rescue exercises in cooperation with NATO and additional international forces.