Cargo ship sinks in Arabian Sea en route from UAE, 20 sailors rescued (PHOTOS)

Cargo ship sinks in Arabian Sea en route from UAE, 20 sailors rescued (PHOTOS)
Some 20 crew members have been rescued after after a cargo ship loaded with steel and building materials sank off the coast of Oman, according to the Gulf state’s authorities.

Local fishermen came to the aid of the crew after the ship went down in the Arabian Sea near Lakabi, a town nearly 400 miles (650km) southwest of the sultanate’s capital of Muscat. The ship, registered in Tanzania, was travelling from Sharjah in the UAE.

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) posted pictures of the rescue to its Twitter feed Sunday.

"A commercial ship carrying the Tanzanian flag sank in Omani territorial waters just before the port of Al-Labki in Wilayat Jazir after sailing from Sharjah to Eritrea,” ROP said in a statement.

The crew members, all of different nationalities, were taken to a Al Jazir Hospital in Oman’s Al Wusta region, police said.

“[The crew] are in good health. The local agent in the Sultanate was contacted to complete their deportation procedures,” ROP added.

Speaking to the Times of Oman, an official at the Port of Duqm said: "The matter of helping the vessel now lies with the members of the Royal Oman Navy and the Royal Air Force of Oman."

Oman’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, in a statement carried by the state-run Oman News Agency and cited by AP, said seawater poured into the ship through a leak, sinking it.

The ministry also moved to deny rumours circulating online that the sunken ship was an oil tanker.

A statement from the ministry read: "Referring to news circulating on social media about the sinking of an oil tanker in Duqm, the Ministry, after coordinating with the competent authorities, confirms that it has not received any communication about the sinking of an oil tanker in Omani waters.

"We have received reports on the sinking of a ship with construction material, and confirm that the entire crew were rescued."