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A man has been rescued after spending 48 hours in the sea following the sinking of his ship.
The man was rescued by marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd, as well as the Liberian coastguard after the Niko Ivanka cargo ship sank last Saturday (17 July) off the coast of the West African nation.
The vessel had left the Liberian capital Monrovia on 17 July for another port in the country, despite the fact that it was forbidden to do so because of a failure to meet basic safety requirements, Sky News reports.
Later that same afternoon, a distress signal was sent out after they started to take on water, but by the time help actually managed to get there, the ship had already partially sunk.
The manifest of the ship showed that there were 18 people on board the vessel officially, of which 11 were rescued within the first 36 hours after the distress call went out, according to the Liberian Maritime Authority spokesperson, Eugene Nagbe.
However, those who were saved from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean said there were in fact 28 people on board, which left 17 people still unaccounted for.
Then, on Monday (19 July), Sea Shepherd confirmed it had managed to pull one survivor from the water around 48 hours after the ship sank.
That's a long and terrifying time to be on your own in the waters of the ocean.
They had also rescued a number of others earlier on their vessel, the Sam Simon.
Liberia's deputy information minister Jarlaywah Tonpoe told Reuters that the exact number of people on board the Niko Ivanka remains unknown.
Tonpoe said: "The vessel was not a passenger-authorised vessel and yet it had passengers on board."
The owner of the vessel - a Chinese man - has been arrested, and investigations are underway to determine why the ship was allowed to leave the port in the first place, as well as to find out whether the ship was carrying any cargo.
The official documentation for the ship showed that the ship was captained by a Swedish man, and he was joined on board by a Chinese crew member, and nine people from West Africa's regional body of school examinations.
Sea Shepherd have also released a statement claiming two children were on board.
They wrote: "On July 19th, crew on board Sea Shepherd's Sam Simon rescued another survivor, bringing the total count to 12.
"This survivor had been in the water for 48 hours. Search and rescue operations continue."
Tragically, the Liberian Maritime Authority announced yesterday (22 July) that three bodies have been discovered, who are believed to be some of the missing persons from the vessel.
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