CREW members aboard a Hongkong-based ship which has been aground for four weeks are in danger of starving after food dropped by the Bangladeshi Navy ran out. The 23 Taiwanese and Burmese sailors aboard the 8,950-tonne Tony Best now stranded about 400 kilometres off the coast of Bangladesh yesterday sent morse code distress messages to the Hongkong Marine Department, saying they would have to abandon ship. Food and water supplies left earlier this week by the navy have run out, along with emergency supplies stashed on lifeboats. The department has alerted the ship's Hongkong agent, San Lian Shipping, and the Bangladeshi Consulate and both are seeking emergency assistance from the port of Mongla. Efforts to send rescue lighters failed due to engine problems and bad weather. ''This whole situation has been very frustrating and confusing, but it seems we are no further forward,'' a spokesman for San Lian said. ''Things just seem to fall down at the Bangladesh end. The navy left just a few provisions and passed through.''