More Than 15K Sheep Drown When Ship Sinks

Official says they likely 'could have been rescued'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2022 1:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Most of the 15,800 sheep aboard a livestock vessel died when the ship sank early Sunday in Sudan’s Red Sea port of Suakin. The animals were being exported from Sudan to Saudi Arabia at the time, the Guardian reports. All crew members aboard the ship survived. The head of the national exporters’ association's livestock division put the animals' value at $3.7 million to $4 million, and called for an investigation into the tragedy. The head of the association says the animals likely "could have been rescued," considering it took hours for the vessel to sink, Al Jazeera reports.

Around 700 sheep were saved, but the head of the livestock division says they were not in good shape and were not expected to "live long." The ship should only have been carrying 9,000 sheep, an anonymous Sudanese port official says. "The sunken ship will affect the port’s operation,” he adds. “It will also likely have an environmental impact due to the death of the large number of animals carried by the ship.” The sheep had been loaded onto the vessel at the Suakin port, where last month an as-yet-unexplained fire broke out in the cargo area, causing heavy damage over a period of hours. (Read more Sudan stories.)

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