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Cargo ship adrift in ocean off Aleutians

Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A 740-foot cargo ship is disabled and floating adrift in the ocean 544 nautical miles southwest of Adak on Sunday afternoon. It is encountering 30-foot seas and winds higher than 60 mph, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

The ship, the APJ Suryavi, registered in India, was heading empty from China to the Columbia River in Oregon when the main engine failed and would not re-start, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Michelle Melino in Juneau.

There are 28 people on board, she said.

The Coast Guard has sent a C-130 plane to check out the scene and drop life rafts, extra food and water, she said. It was due to arrive on site about 6 p.m. AKST

Another ship in the vicinity, the Maersk Altair, answered a Coast Guard call for help, and will reach the APJ Suryavi about 10:30 p.m. AKST.

The ship is not taking on water and has life rafts, survival suits and an emergency locator beacon, said Melino.

A Coast Guard cutter that's under repair in Dutch Harbor will head to the scene when it's able, but won't get there for four days, Melino said.

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