13 crew members rescued from dredger in NMPT limit

The dredger owned by Mercator Limited, Mumbai was anchored within port limits of New Mangalore Port Trust was on a contractual agreement with NMPT for dredging to ensure sufficient depth in channel.

Indian Coast Guard ship Amartya rescued 13 crews onboard of Dredger Tridevi Prem anchored within New Mangalore Port limits, following flooding in the pump room of the dredger, in the wee hours of Monday.

The remaining seven members of the repair team who were on board were rescued by NMPT Tug Ocean Esteem in coordination with ICGS Amartya.

According to Indian Coast Guard Karnataka Commander S S Dasila, dredger owned by Mercator Limited, Mumbai was anchored within port limits of New Mangalore Port Trust was on a contractual agreement with NMPT for dredging to ensure sufficient depth in channel. The master of vessel had reported flooding in Pump room on August 31.

Later, it was reported to have been under control on the same day. However, Sunday evening, the master again informed Coast Guard and NMPT on the flooding in the same compartment.

A repair team comprising of divers arranged by owner on pursuance of Coast Guard and NMPT, escorted by Deputy Conservator NMPT was embarked on the vessel by a tug. Additionally, though the vessel had even keel, ICGS Amartya on safety patrol along the Coast of Karnataka monitored the situation closely along with ROS (NML).

Meanwhile, the Master and local crew members on board the dredger continued to intimidate the authorities using external sources. At around 9.45 pm, ROS (NML) received a distress message from the vessel, which was relayed to ICGS Amartya and the ship was directed to reach datum at the earliest to ascertain facts, said the Commander.

ICGS Amartya on establishing communication found that apart from 13 crew members of the ship, seven members from repair team were present onboard. On preliminary assessment from outside, the vessel appeared to be stable and no threat to life onboard the vessel was observed. However, the master had expressed his intention of abandoning ship with crew in lifeboat.

Meanwhile, when the situation was being discussed at higher level, the master lowered a lifeboat and 13 crew abandoned the dredger at around 2.30 am, leaving behind the repair team of seven members. ICGS Amartya rushed to the help and rescued all the 13 crew of lifeboat in a  rescue operation braving rough weather conditions and heavy rain. The remaining seven members of the repair team were rescued by NMPT Tug Ocean Esteem in coordination with ICGS Amartya, said Dasila.

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