Coast Guard despatch vessel to battle blaze aboard container

Fire fighting

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has engaged a fire-fighting specialised vessel in the rough monsoon seas off Mumbai to battle the blaze that engulfed the front of MV MOL Comfort enroute to Oman.

In an official communiqué to the press, the ICG on Monday said Smit International of Singapore had flashed an SOS that the containers on-board the derelict MV MOL Comfort, while being towed by Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) tug Urja to Port Sohar in Oman, caught fire in Arabian Sea on Sunday.

An ICG aircraft was first sent to carry out a recce of the spot and then fire-fighting specialist vessel Samudra Prahari was pressed into action for 'neutralising the fire on MV MOL Comfort.'

According to a Coast Guard official, ICG Samudra Prahari has managed to bring the blaze under control by 'spraying water through water cannons' and at present is around 356 nautical miles west off Mumbai.”

ICG officials from the spot have reported thick black smoke emanating from the derelict vessel. Top officials from SCI, ICG and other stake holders are reported to be monitoring the situation round-the-clock. On June 17, the 316-metre-long container ship MV MOL Comfort broke its back near the Yemeni Coast; its 26 crew members left the ship on life-rafts.

The hull of MV MOL Comfort carrying around 4,500 containers with toxic and hazardous consignments from Singapore to Jeddah broke into two pieces; the accident took place around 200 nautical miles from the Yemen Coast and around 840 nautical miles west of Mumbai.

Three ships – MV Hanjin Beijing, MV Zim India and MV Yantian Express, the last of which was closest to the disaster – were directed to the spot by ICG coordinating the rescue operation.

All crew members comprising 14 Filipinos and 12 Russians were rescued and taken aboard the MV Yantian Express that was bound for Sri Lanka.

Comments (+)