BEHRAMPUR, India (AP) -- The Indian coast guard rescued 17 sailors on Monday whose cargo ship sank during Cyclone Phailin, officials said, as the death toll in the storm rose to 23 people along the eastern coastline.
A mass government evacuation of nearly 1 million people spared India the widespread deaths many had feared from the powerful weekend cyclone, which destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of crops and tens of thousands of homes.
The lifeboat carrying the crew of the MV Bingo was spotted by a coast guard aircraft Sunday off the coast of Orissa state, which took the brunt of the cyclone. They were brought to Calcutta on Monday.
"All of them are safe now and they have been sent to a hospital for check-up," coast guard Commandant Rajendra Nath told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Officials in Orissa and neighboring Anhra Pradesh state, meanwhile, said the death toll had risen to 23 people, PTI reported.