The monsoon has arrived in Arabian Sea and with it has brought many challenges to life and property at sea. In the first three days of its arrival, during the weekend, there have been three separate life threatening incidents at sea, which were swiftly tackled by Indian Coast Guard. Indian Coast Guard being the nodal agency for Search and Rescue in Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR) has saved 32 precious human lives in three different operations concurrently at New Mangalore, Goa and 590 nautical miles from Mumbai.
In first operation, Coast Guard Karnataka Headquarters received a message from New Mangalore Port Control regarding flooding onboard barge ‘Ibis’, grounded south of old Mangalore port. The 2964 GRT barge with 27 crew onboard was engaged in construction of breakwater for old port got grounded due to rough sea conditions and started flooding. On receipt of distress alert Indian Coast Guard immediately swung into action and diverted CG ship Amartya which was patrolling off Karnataka coast to provide necessary assistance. The ship reached near grounding site at about 06:40 PM on 03 Jun 2017 and rescued 04 crew braving very high waves and inclement weather. Rescue operation recommenced on 04 Jun 17, at 06:00 AM. The valiant efforts of the ICGS Amartya and CSP resulted in rescuing all 27 crew by 08:25 AM. The crew has been provided with medical treatment and food onboard and reaching ashore for handing over to the agent.
In another incident, Indian Coast Guard at Goa evacuated 01 critically ill (chest pain) staff of Light House authorities from Vengrula Rock Light House. Light House authorities at about 5:40 PM on 03 June 17 approached Coast Guard to evacuate one of the staff manning Vengrula Rock light house who had reported chest pain. Reacting to the need, the operation was undertaken with first light on 04 June 17 as night operation were not possible from the light house. Indian Coast Guard Helicopter was launched from Goa and evacuated the Light House staff safely to main land at about 8:00 AM and handed over to light house authorities.
In third operation, the Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Mumbai received a distress alert on 31 May 2017, from a sailing boat “Lady Thuraya” registered at British Virgin Islands, which was sailing from Male to Salalah, Oman. The position was more than 590 miles from Mumbai. Reacting swiftly to the situation, Indian Coast Guard raised an “International Safety Net” where in ships in vicinity were requested to look for the distress boat. One of the merchant ships, MV Seacor Diamond sailing to UAE was able to contact the sailing boat on VHF on 03 Jun 17 and was continuously guided by Indian Coast Guard MRCC. Finally, the sailing boat in distress was located at about 1315 Hrs, on 03 Jun 17 at 390 miles from Mumbai. MV Seacor Diamond intimated that all four crew of the sailing boat were safe and healthy but boat had drifted because of engine failure and no power onboard since last 03 days. Immediate assistance was provided to the crew and ship along with sailing boat under tow is expected to reach Mumbai by PM 07 June 17.
Three concurrent operations of saving lives at sea during the inclement weather re-affirms Indian Coast Guard’s commitment towards safety of life and property at sea and its motto “Vayam Rakshamah”.