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Relief Ship Sinks Off Liberian Coast

A ship carrying emergency relief supplies to Liberia has gone down off the coast of the West African nation. Everyone aboard the ship survived but some badly needed cargo has been lost.

The ship, the Madame Patricia was chartered by the U.S.-based charity World Vision. The vessel had set sail from neighboring Sierra Leone destined for the Liberian capital Monrovia but broke up and sank in a storm.

"Sometime on Sunday it had struck a sandbar," said World Vision spokeswoman Sheryl Watkins. "Unfortunately, the entire ship, the Madame Patricia was lost along with $86,000 in emergency relief supplies."

Supplies lost include thousands of blankets, soap, along with hundreds of sleeping mats as well as generators and fuel. It was the first shipload of humanitarian relief sent by World Vision to Liberia since President Charles Taylor went into exile last week and one of the first that was supposed to arrive in the country since the port of Monrovia was re-opened.

World Vision expects another shipment of aid to arrive in Monrovia later this week.