Coast Guards drown in Red Sea [Archives:2006/1009/Local News]

December 21 2006

SANA'A, Dec. 20 ) Ten Yemeni coast guards drowned in the Red Sea when their boat capsized. The guards were sailing from the Yemeni Island of Zugar, 45 km off the Yemeni shore, toward Al-Khokha coast.

“A Yemeni trade ship found the capsized boat and rescued 7 survivors but did find the corpses of the sailors who drowned,” said security sources on Monday.

The security sources revealed the accident was caused by strong water currents, but did not mention any efforts by the Air Forces to rescue the victims with military helicopters.

Navigational sources said that the trade ship that managed to drag the uncontrolled boat out belongs to the Yemeni businessman Ahmad Al-Eisi. The same sources mentioned the boat was missing in the seawaters because its captains had not followed the safety means, recommended in winter when the waves are more restless.

Many African refugees were subjected to similar accidents earlier this week as they were attempting to reach Yemen's shores. The refugees were escaping the civil war in Somalia.

Drowning accidents have increased between last April and November due climate changes, according to the sources.

Many reports have so far confirmed that Yemen asked several countries that have troops in the Red Sea to help in search for the military equipment, which was lost last week.

Al-Shoura Net reported the Yemeni Marine Forces expended efforts in search for the boats that were missing with Coast Guards on board.

Yemeni Fishermen in Hodeidah haven't indicated that there are climate changes and restless waves. They said the weather remained in the same condition during the week.

Yemen's recently established Coast Guards exceed 20,000 and have modest military equipment.