Thursday, August 9, 2018

ICG rescues of 343 passengers of distressed MV Swaraj Dweep


Port Blair, Aug 08: In an excellently co-ordinated midnight rescue mission, Indian Coast Guard ship Aruna Asaf Ali de-flooded distressed DSS passenger vessel MV  Swaraj Dweep’ which was having 343 personnel onboard.  The vessel reported flooding about 40 nautical miles east of Carnic Nicobar Island, 190 nautical miles south of Port Blair.
The passenger vessel had sailed from Port Blair on 1st Aug with 250 passengers and 93 crew onboard, alongwith cargo containers for Nancowry Island. However, water ingress was observed in the vessel’s forward section at hold no.2 due to which the cargo hold was flooded upto 05 meters level. Despite all out efforts by ship staff and continuous pumping, water level did not fall below 5 metres.
Post assessment of situation and severe sea conditions, the master of the vessel relayed midnight distress message to Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre, Port Blair at about 0140 hrs (early hours of Aug 02, 2018). Immediately on receipt of message, Coast Guard swiftly launched a rescue operation for the safety of the 343 precious lives onboard. Coast Guard ship ICGS Aruna Asaf Ali was swiftly sailed from Kamorta to assist the distressed vessel. Meanwhile, captain of the ship was directed to head towards Carnic anchorage.
In the early morning hours CG diving team comprising of five experienced divers, ex Port Blair, embarked onboard Coast Guard Dornier aircraft for Carnic. On landing at Carnic, the team joined ship’s damage control team. All out efforts by the ICG ship’s damage control team resulted in de-flooding of the vessel using submersible and diesel driven pumps. The team is fully prepared to undertake underwater damage control as soon as the leakage is isolated.
By the time of issuing this report, water level was brought down to 1ft and evacuation of passengers by ICG ship Aruna Asaf Ali and DSS vessel Kamorta had commenced. The passengers are being ferried to safety before they embark respective vessels for their destinations.

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