Rough seas break tanker in two, crew rescued by Armed Forces of Malta

UK-flagged Motor Tanker Lady Sandra suffered extensive damage in Malta's territorial waters and started taking in water and sinking

The Lady Sandra snapped in half and sank in rough seas
The Lady Sandra snapped in half and sank in rough seas

The crew of a tanker which broke in half in rough weather last night, were rescued from the sea by the Armed Forces of Malta.

The incident happened at 9:32pm when the rescue coordination centre (RCC) received a mayday call from UK-registered motor tanker Lady Sandra.

The Master informed the RCC that the tanker had suffered extensive damage and was taking in water and sinking. The AFM immediately deployed a search and rescue vessel and helicopter to the location of the shipwreck, some 13 nautical miles East-Northeast from Malta. 

The tanker started taking in water and sunk
The tanker started taking in water and sunk

Once the AFM vessel Melita 1 arrived on location, the three crew members - two Egyptians and one Romanian -  were found in the water after having abandoned ship. The life raft had also been ruptured.

The men were transferred on the AFM vessel and brought safely to Hay Wharf Base. Medical assistance was not required, and the Immigration Unit from the Malta Police Force were called in for further assistance. 

The Master of Melita 1 said this was a different rescue than others. "We risked our lives, as there was a very big swell and strong winds. As we approached the life raft, we quickly transferred them on board our vessel. We thank God that everyone is safe."

The difficult rescue mission was the result of coordination between the AFM's Rescue Coordination Centre, the AFM assets, as well as other ships in the area.

The AFM headquarters publicly thanked all members of the force for "the dedication, commitment, and loyal service they provide to their country, particularly in such adverse situations with inherent high risks."

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