Mississippi Seaman Still Missing At Sea - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


Mississippi Seaman Still Missing At Sea

(Manama, Bahrain-AP) 

 Divers are searching today (Wednesday) for two U.S. Navy sailors and two Iraqis who are presumed dead after a decrepit, overloaded ship sank in the Gulf.

The Samra, believed to have been smuggling 19-hundred tons of Iraqi oil, sank early Sunday 80 miles southeast of Kuwait's Al-Ahmadi port. Navy sailors had boarded the ship to check for smuggled oil. Divers on Tuesday recovered the body of a second Iraqi crew member.

Ten of the 14 Iraqi crew members and six U.S. sailors were rescued Sunday. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said today (Wednesday) that divers' recovery efforts are continuing.

In Washington, a Pentagon official has identified the missing Americans as 38-year-old Petty Officer first Class Vincent Parker of Preston, Mississippi, and 21-Petty Officer third Class Benjamin Johnson of Rochester, New York.

Parker's family said they will hold a memorial service for him in Preston on Monday or Tuesday. Parker's brother Stephen of Carthage said --quote-- ``The way I understand, the weather over there is rough and it's cold this time of year.''

 The Navy sailors were from the U-S-S Peterson, a destroyer involved in efforts to enforce U-N sanctions on Iraq by preventing the smuggling of Iraqi oil. Its home port is Norfolk, Virginia.

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