Nearly 60 people are missing five days after a ship sank off Yemen’s remote Socotra island, its fisheries minister said on Wednesday, with state media reporting that only two people had been rescued.
The boat went missing five days ago while heading from Yemen’s southeastern port city of Mukalla towards Socotra with some 60 people on board, among them women and children, fisheries minister Fahd Kavieen said.
Socotra lies in the Indian Ocean, and is closer to the coast of Somalia than to the Yemeni mainland.
The government’s sabanews.net reported that two ships, one Austrian and the other Australian, had rescued two of those on board.
It did not specify whether the vessels were merchant ships, or were part of an international flotilla that has been fighting piracy off the Somali coast.
Throughout the devastating conflict that has pitted forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels and their allies over the past few years, Socotra has remained loyal to Hadi and his Saudi-backed government.
The Mukalla-based governor of Hadramawt province, Major General Ahmed bin Breik, said a call for help had been issued to the Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen to root out the Houthis, in order to help search for those still missing.
Socotra, which thanks to its isolation is home to unique wildlife, was hit last year by a devastating cyclone that triggered flash floods and killed several people.[Source: Middle East Eye]