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4 Sailors Rescued, 15 Drown Ship Sinks In Frigid Gulf Of St. Lawrence

Sat., Jan. 17, 1998

A helicopter rescued four crewmen clinging to an overturned lifeboat Friday in the frigid Gulf of St. Lawrence, but 15 others drowned and six were missing after their freighter sank.

The Flare, a bulk carrier registered in Cyprus, went down off the French-governed islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

Lt. Commander Glenn Chamberlain, a spokesman for the rescue center in Halifax, said the four survivors were suffering from hypothermia and one had a broken arm.

“But they’re at least on dry land and in medical care,” he said.

The survivors included three Filipinos and one Romanian.

Two other helicopters and an airplane remained at the scene of the sinking after the rescue, but Chamberlain said there were no signs of other survivors.

A garbled mayday from the Montreal-bound ship was picked up about 5 a.m. by a coast guard station in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Chamberlain said.

Seas in the area near Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula were up to 12 feet high.

The Flare’s holds were empty as it sailed from Rotterdam to pick up a load of grain in Montreal.

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