Offshore support vessel on fire off Visakhapatnam coast

One crew member was missing and 28 others were rescued from the offshore support vessel “Coastal Jaguar”, off the Visakhapatnam coast. (DH Photo)

One crew member was missing and 28 others were rescued from the offshore support vessel “Coastal Jaguar”, off the Visakhapatnam coast on Monday around 11.30 am after a loud explosion followed by a massive fire. The crew members saved themselves by jumping into the water, abandoning the vessel. The search is on to rescue the missing crew member.

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, the crew had to abandon their vessel. They jumped into the water to save him from a fire which engulphed the vessel. There was reportedly a loud explosion on board the vessel that was followed by thick smoke. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

ICGS (Indian Coast Guard Ship) Rani Rashmoni, which was in the area, was diverted to coordinate the rescue operations. Rani in coordination with the VPT (Visakhapatnam Port Trust) boats rescued the distressed crew. 28 of the 29 crew onboard have been rescued. Search for the missing crew is on progress.

ICGS Samudra Peheredar, ICG Helicopter and ICGS C 432 were pressed into action to further augment the rescue efforts. Dramatic scenes of the crew jumping into the sea to save themselves and the rescue operations by the ships were witnessed. Coastguard vessels used water cannons to douse the fire during the rescue operation.

Five members of the crew that have received more than 70% of burn injuries have been rushed to the naval hospital. According to eye witnesses, the vessel is almost damaged in the fire.   The crew members were said to have raised an alarm while jumping into the sea. The coast guard ships responded immediately and rescued them. The vessel reportedly hired by the HPCL is on the way to conduct a repair on a ship carrying crude oil. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

 

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