Rescue operation is still on
Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has rescued 12 sailors after their lighter ship capsized in the rough sea near Bhashar Char in Noakhali.
The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday confirmed the development, saying the AW-139 search and rescue helicopters of BAF was used to airlift them from the Bay of Bengal, which was rough due to the impact of Cyclone Yaas.
It added that the rescue operation was underway.
Squadron leader Saiful Alom of Bangladesh Air Force, who led the rescue operation, also confirmed the news to UNB.
“Two rescue helicopters flew to the capsize site within a very short time from Patenga Air Force Base and rescued 12 crew members who were floating in the middle of the sea,” he said.
He said that the rescued sailors were taken to Patenga Zahurul Haque Air Base and given necessary food and medical services.
According to naval sources at Patenga in Chittagong, the stone-laden lighterage ship named MV Sanvalli sank in the rough sea near Bhasanchar in Noakhali around 2pm on Wednesday.
The country’s seaports have been asked to hoist the local cautionary Signal No 3 as Cyclone Yass started ravaging eastern India.
The cyclone was packing gusts of up to 140 kph (87 mph) as it hit land, Indian authorities said.
Bangladesh on Tuesday had advised all fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution. They were also advised not to venture into the deep sea.
On the same day, the government suspended passenger vessel service in all inland river ports because of the cyclone.
Even though the cyclone did not strike Bangladesh directly, the country’s coastal districts were seen bearing the brunt of the inclement weather since Tuesday, with gusts damaging properties and tidal upsurge inundating low-lying areas affecting thousands of locals.
The situation in those coastal districts had somewhat worsened on Wednesday.