A Cambodian-flagged cargo ship sank in seas off the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, the third maritime incident this month involving Cambodian-registered vessels, Lloyds Shipping Intelligence Service reported.
Twenty-two crew members were rescued as the 7,000-ton vessel, the Magi, took on water and sank while transporting a cargo of wheat and rice.
The reason the vessel sank was unknown, Lloyds said.
An official at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation in Phnom Penh said Tuesday the Magi sank in high seas. The ministry was checking for further information, he said.
Last week, Russian rescue ships attempted to fight a massive fire that engulfed a Cambodian-flagged vessel off the eastern coast of Russia. Nineteen Russian and South Korean crew members were rescued from the Bintang Haraban by Russian fishermen after a boiler in the vessel’s engine room exploded.
The latest incidents come as a high-level government committee prepares its final report to the government on Cambodian ship registration, which is administered by the Singapore-based Cambodia Shipping Corporation.
An investigation was launched into the CSC and Cambodia’s “flag of convenience” after the discovery in June by French naval commandos of almost two tons of cocaine aboard another Cambodian-registered ship, the Winner.
Interior Ministry Spokesman General Sok Phal said Tuesday he expected the report to be completed later this week.
CSC Chairman Khek Sakara could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
In the past, Khek Sakara has defended Cambodia’s shipping record, which he said was, statistically, still relatively low on the ladder of countries whose ships have been involved in serious maritime incidents.