2 Crewmen From Sunken Ship, 7 Bodies Recovered
A second crewman was rescued and at least seven bodies were recovered Saturday as a desperate race against the elements continued for survivors of a sunken Ukrainian cargo ship.
Most of the 31 crew members aboard the Salvador Allende, which sank Friday, had been spotted in lifeboats, life rafts or survival suits, but rough seas hampered rescues.
Six merchant vessels were at or near the scene of the sinking, about 150 miles northeast of Bermuda and 1,200 miles east of New Jersey.
At least seven bodies were recovered by Saturday night, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
One of the survivors, Alexander Paranov, had spent more than 24 hours in the water wearing only a light jacket and a life vest.
A New York Air National Guard helicopter rescued him after spotting the Ukrainian sailor some 70 miles from where rescuers thought he would be. He arrived in Halifax Saturday night and was reported to be in stable condition.
“I’m absolutely amazed. I’m flabbergasted,” said the helicopter’s pilot, Lt. Col. Ed Fleming.
“He was waving the whole time, he was getting thrown around by the sea,” said Sgt. Jim Dougerty, who jumped into the water to save Paranov. “He said he was never cold. His biggest complaint was the saltwater was burning his eyes and he couldn’t see.”
Another crewman was picked up by the tanker Torungen late Friday and was in good health. His name wasn’t immediately available.
The 450-foot ship was heading to Helsinki, Finland, from Texas with a cargo of rice when it sank early Friday in heavy seas.
But the Coast Guard said the seas had subsided to about 12 feet by Saturday afternoon.
The warm Gulf Stream also aided the survivors. When the ship went down, surrounding waters were about 67 degrees.