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Iran starts search for 7 missing crews of landing craft capsized in Persian Gulf

Iranian coastguards are searching for missing crews of a landing craft vessel capsized in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian maritime authorities say they have launched a search operation for seven crew members of a landing craft vessel that capsized in the Persian Gulf on Friday.

An official at the local department of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan said on Saturday that the capsized vessel had been discovered earlier in the day in a location 25 miles (42.2 kilometers) southeast of Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz.

“Given the unfavorable weather conditions and the darkness, the maritime rescue operation started today 26 December with more quality and quantity,” said Esmail Makizadeh.

Makizadeh would not elaborate on the causes of the incident. He said that passing vessels and rescue forces from neighboring countries had been informed about the seven missing sailors.

The official said the landing craft relayed a distress signal on Friday evening indicating that it had started taking on water.

A lifeguard boat was dispatched from the Iranian island of Qeshm to provide help but it took until Saturday afternoon to locate the overturned vessel, he said.

A later report by the IRIB News said that the landing craft vessel was carrying road construction equipment from the United Arab Emirates to Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas when it capsized. The report quoted Makizadeh as saying that one of the sailors of the vessel was Indian.

Larak is a small island located 10 kilometers to the southeast of Qeshm. The IRIB News report said Iran’s meteorological organization and local officials had issued special shipping forecasts to warn about bad weather conditions in the region on Friday.

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