Ships in distress as rough weather piles up woes

Ships in distress as rough weather piles up woes

The deep depression over the Arabian sea resulting in strong winds and heavy rains has thrown a major challenge for the Coast Guard and Navy, as at least four ships are in state of distress because of the weather. 

Because of strong weather conditions, the Regional Meteorological Observatory of the India Meteorological Department has asked all ports between Dahanu and Marmugao of Maharashtra-Goa coast to hoist cautionary signal no. 3 because of squally weather associated with the monsoon.

“Squally wind speeds reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph are expected to prevail along and off Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast for the next 24 hours. Sea condition will be rough to very rough and fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea over the next two days,” the weathermen said. 

The general cargo vessel MV Jindal Kamakshi, which ran into problems because of listing and ingress of water — 40 nautical miles off the Vasai coast in Palghar district — continues to be anchored. The situation is being constantly monitored by the Navy and Coast Guard. 

Officials of Western Naval Command (WNC) said that the Director General of Shipping has established contact with the owners of the vessel and asked it to be salvaged.

Asked about oil spill because the ship contains bunker fuel, the officials said that as of now there is no immediate threat. M/s SMIT Salvage is expected to start towing operations, Coast Guard and Navy officials said.

Meanwhile, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mumbai received  information  regarding breaking of towline of a newly-constructed vessel which was being towed by the Tug Pacific  Buccaneer from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi. The unmanned barge was approximately 40 Km from Veraval off Gujarat and drifting due to a broken tow. The prevailing rough weather conditions prevented reconnection and the vessel is being monitored.

Also, MV Coastal Pride carrying cement cargo with 11 crew members reported loss of propulsion about 25 km West of Dahanu in Palghar district. The vessel was directed to anchor; the vessel with crew members are safe and the  owner of the vessel has been directed to arrange for towing arrangements.

The rough sea conditions also caused falling down of 20 containers of MV MOL Cosmos and 5 containers from TCI Arjun.  

While Cosmos is now anchored at the Nhava Sheva port in Navi Mumbai, TCI Arjun is anchored south of Diu. “These containers are likely to land ashore, hence local population may be advised to inform the nearest police stations,” officials said.

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