30 rescued from sinking cargo ship off Mumbai (Second Lead)

August 4th, 2011 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 4 (IANS) Indian shipping authorities ordered an inquiry into the sinking cargo ship M.V. Rak Carrier with an international crew that was struck off the Mumbai coast in the Arabian Sea Thursday morning.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued all 30 crewmen from the Panamanian flagged ship which sent out a distress call around 8 a.m. to the Indian maritime authorities after a suspected leakage led to heavy flooding.

The DGS has also served a notice to the Panama maritime authorities, from where the vessel was registered and to the ship owners, manager and local agent under provisions of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The Mumbai Port Trust and National Hydrographic Officer, Dehradun, were told to issue navigational warning about the 225 metre long ship, three-fourths of which is now sunk.

All concerned agencies like the Mumbai Collector, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Director-General of Lighthouse & Lightships, the two port authorities and others were informed to initiate appropriate action against the ship owners and insurers.

The ship, owned and managed by M/s. Delta Shipping Marine Services, was carrying 290 tons of fuel oil and another 50 tons of diesel. It was on a voyage from Lubuk-Tutung, Indonesia to Dahej Port, Gujarat, carrying 60,000 tons coal cargo.

The crewmen included Indonesians, Jordanians and Romanians.

The ICG and other agencies concerned with maritime safety immediately dispatched two helicopters and a smaller vessel to the sinking ship, anchored around 25 nautical miles off south Mumbai.

“Within a couple of hours, we succeeded in rescuing all the 30 crewmen, including 11 who had jumped into the sea. They have been brought ashore to Mumbai,” ICG spokesman R.V. Prasad told IANS.

A coast guard ship, Samudri Prahar, which was in the vicinity, was diverted to the disaster site to coordinate relief operations.

Now, it will remain in the areas to monitor the situation and check whether the ship could pose environmental hazards, Prasad said.

By early afternoon, the ICG and the Indian Navy rescued all the crew, 18 of whom were shifted ashore by a naval helicopter and the rest by a merchant navy ship.

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