India-flagged cargo ship adrift in North Pacific

India-flagged cargo ship adrift in North Pacific

The 28 crew members aboard the 740-foot APJ Suryavir planned to abandon ship and board a Samaritan freighter expected to arrive late on Sunday, the Coast Guard said. A Coast Guard plane was bringing them supplies.

There were no reports of injuries among those onboard and the ship was not taking on water, according to the Coast Guard.

The Suryavir is carrying no cargo, making it unstable in the 30-foot seas about 870 kilometres southwest of Alaska's Adak Island, Coast Guard Lt. Nate Johnson said. Winds were reported at 96 kph in the area.

The Coast Guard said that the weather was worsening. The vessel has sea water in its tanks to add some weight but is "still pretty light", Johnson said.

A Coast Guard plane was expected to reach the Suryavir sometime later on Sunday. Johnson said the C-130 plane would drop supplies including life rafts, food and water.

The Suryavir crew planned to board the commercial freighter Maersk Altair once the 1,110-foot Singapore-flagged vessel arrived, Petty Officer Walter Shinn said.

The ship ran into engine problems several days ago en route from China to the Columbia River in Oregon, but the crew radioed for help yesterday only when the weather turned bad. Johnson said it's not unusual for ship crews to fix their engines in calmer weather.

The vessel's registered owner is Apeejay Shipping LTD. Company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shinn said the company was working on sending a commercial tug to retrieve the drifting ship and a Coast Guard cutter was expected to arrive on site Tuesday evening to monitor the situation.

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