The Indian Coast Guard Thursday rescued 22 crew members, as a Merchant Navy vessel on its way to Maldives from Pakistan began sinking near the Minicoy island, Lakshadweep, nearly 300 km west of Kochi.
The ship - Asian Express - was carrying cement and sand.
It had developed a vertical crack on the starboard in the midships below waterline.
The first information of the vessel was passed by an Indian Naval Ship.
Coast Guard Ship Varuna, which was on patrol in the Lakshwadeep islands, was dispatched to the site for rescue operations.
Despite hostile weather conditions, ICGS Varuna rescued all 22 crew with help of life boats.
Out of the 22 rescued, four were Indians and the rest were from Maldives.
The vessel was drifting due to engine failure since last two days.