Mangaluru, June 10, 2016: The rescue operation of Motor Tanker Infinity-1 anchored off Karwar continued throughout the night by the Coast Guard Specialist Damage Control Team and averted a major tragedy at sea.
MT Infinity-1, a 83 mtrs long tanker registered at Panama with 14 Indian crew onboard has been carrying 1750 tonnes asphalt. The vessel was on voyage from the Port of Kandla to Port of Karwar and anchored 20 Nm off Goa as she was not able to continue her voyage due to uncontrollable ingress of water. The ship sent a distress message SOS (Save Our Soul) to Coast Guard for immediate assistance.
After initial assistance by a Naval Ship Trinkat and Coast Guard Ship Amal, ICGS Shoor (OPV class), a New Mangalore vessel present at Goa was directed to sail urgently for assistance as the situation was grim. ICGS Shoor sailed from Goa at 0905 PM on 08 June 16, prepared herself for sailing with half an hour of notice and reached close to the distressed vessel at 1100 PM.
ICG Shoor on arrival, established communication with the distressed vessel and instilled a sense of security and confidence in the crew. After assessing the situation, the Commanding officer of ICGS Shoor decided to board the vessel using its Craft with Specialist Damage Control Team of 08 members along with advanced equipment for controlling the flooding in the vessel not withstanding the rough sea conditions, high wind speeds, pitch dark night and overcast sky conditions.
The flooding in MT Infinity-1 was brought under control by the Coast Guard Specialist Damage Control Team which boarded the vessel by 0200 AM on 09 June 16. At 0400 AM, the master of the distressed vessel was advised to weigh anchor and proceed to the Port of Karwar. Coast Guard Specialist Damage Control Team remained onboard tanker to overcome any eventuality. ICGS Shoor
remained close by keeping watchful eyes on the tanker. A Coast Guard Chetak helicopter was also launched from Goa to maintain vigil on the movement of distressed vessel.
MT Infinity-1 was put on anchorage off Karwar Port at 0709 PM on 09 June 16 as berthing of the vessel was planned in the morning of 10 June 16 by the Director, Karwar Port. Meanwhile, Indian Coast Guard Specialist Damage Control Team continued de-flooding the distressed tanker throughout the night on 09-10 June 16. ICGS C-155 and C-420 were also deployed during the night with additional pumps as one of the de-flooding pump failed. The Coast Guard Specialist Damage Control Team ensured safety of the vessel in the challenging weather conditions during night hours.
MT Infinity-1 arrived at Port of Karwar at 0945 AM on 10 June 16 safely along with 14 crew members and cargo. The Director, Port of Karwar, Captain Swamy actively provided berthing and administrative assistance for the vessel on request by the Coast Guard as maritime search and rescue case warranting humanitarian assistance.
Deputy Inspector General KR Suresh TM, the Commander, Coast Guard Karnataka said that this effort by the Indian Coast Guard in providing prompt assistance and saving of 14 lives of MT Infinity-1 will go a long way in promoting the cooperation amongst various search and rescue organizations of the world under the International Conventions of Maritime Search and Rescue and build a sense of confidence amongst seafarers. Indian Coast Guard units are at alert for the rescue of precious lives at sea during any eventuality. Further, he stated that the South West Monsoon is vigorous on the Western seaboard. The owners, agents and masters of vessels at sea are advised to take all necessary precautions and scrupulously adhere to the laid down norms and standards of seaworthiness and to ensure the safety of men and material at sea.