Ruptured hull sinks MV Aisgati around 10-15km away from Fairboya, 100km from Mongla Port and only 22km from the world’s largest mangrove forest.
A vessel carrying 1,000 tonnes of coal sank in the Bay of Bengal, 22km off the coast of the Sundarbans National Park, on Friday.
“MV Aisgati sank between 9am and 10am at Fairboya point,” coastguard Staff Officer (operation) Lt AM Rahatuzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune. “Rescuers rushed to the area.”
Golam Faruk, the vessel’s owner, said all 12 of the ship’s crew were rescued by a passing ship.
“The ship sank after suffering a rupture to its bottom when loading coal at Fairboya. It was carrying 1,000 tonnes of coal to Jessore’s Noapara,” Faruk said
In March last year, a vessel carrying 1,235 tonnes of coal sunk in the Shela River of the Sundarbans. A year before that, a cargo vessel shipping 510 tonnes of coal capsized in the Passur River.
The accidents are harrowing reminders of the 2014 oil tanker capsize on the Shela River that posed serious threats to the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Green groups and activists have long been demanding that movement of vessels inside the Sundarbans be restricted for the sake of the forest. They have also warned that such accidents will recur if the government implements the proposed coal power plant projects near the Sundarbans.