India’s Ministry of External Affairs on July 3 directed coastguards in West Bengal State and the port of Kolkatta to rescue a Vietnamese cargo ship in distress off the coast of West Bengal.

The ministry took action at the request of the Vietnamese Embassy in India earlier in the day.

The Inmarsat Land Earth Station in Vietnam’s northern port city of Hai Phong received distress signals from the freighter on July 3. The ship, with 15 crewmen on board, has been floating adrift and out of control in Indian waters almost 32 nautical miles from shore since June 26. It is in serious danger due to the rough seas and strong winds.

The vessel, which belongs to Anh Son Marine Transport, is shipping timber from the northern port of Hai Phong to India .

On receiving news of the incident, Vietnam’s Coastal Information Station immediately informed other ships in the area to keep a look out for the vessel.-VNA