3RD LEAD: Fresh attempt to repair the cargo ship

Cargo ship caught up in rough seas at LTTE waters

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 December 2006, 07:36 GMT]
Captain of the Cargo ship, drifting towards Mullaithivu shore, with fellow crewmen, is engaged in bringing the ship to operation Saturday afternoon, Sea Tiger officials said. 15 crew members have reached the shore. Earlier, Liberation Tigers Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told media that the cargo ship, caught up in the rough seas, had drifted into LTTE territorial waters off Mullaithivu and that the Sea Tigers were engaged in saving the crew members.

"Sea Tigers have rescued 25 members of the crew, so far. The cargo vessel, drifting towards the coast of Mullaithivu, is in danger of grounding," Mr. Ilanthirayan told TamilNet earlier, around 3:00 p.m.

"Sea Tigers have earlier reported the presence of approaching Sri Lankan gunboats inside the internal waters," he further said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Navy officials in Colombo said a technical failure had caused a Jordanian Merchant Vessel, FARHA III, carrying 14000 tons of rice from India to South Africa, to drift towards Mullaithivu.

Sri Lankan military officials further charged that the Tigers had seized the ship and the crew and said the Sri Lankan navy had engaged naval boats to save the crew and the cargo ship.


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