Stranded Lakshadweep vessel towed to safety

All 624 passengers disembark on Androth island

Published - December 02, 2021 09:26 pm IST - KOCHI

Passenger ship m.v. Kavaratti which was left stranded some 30 nautical miles away from Kavaratti island following a fire outbreak in the engine room, was towed by Coast Guard vessel Samar to Androth island where all 624 passengers disembarked.

m.v. Corals has already departed Androth with passengers from Kalpeni, Androth, and Agatti bound for Kochi.

Soon after the fire broke out at noon on Wednesday, the ship’s operator, Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd. (LDCL), alerted the Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mumbai following which Samar, which was in the vicinity of the vessel in distress, was given instructions to provide assistance.

m.v. Kavaratti’s crew was able to control the fire, but there was power outage. Although CGS Samar reached the spot without delay, the passengers could not be transferred due to shell evacuation door remaining non-operational. The sea was not conducive for passenger transfer, either.

Despite Samar being a much smaller ship compared to m.v. Kavaratti, Coast Guard officers took the call to tow the stranded ship in consideration of passenger safety. The ships’ movement, therefore, was very slow, said an official.

The Indian Navy also dispatched its ship Shardul with a team of engineers to provide assistance to m.v. Kavaratti.

Towed to Androth on Thursday morning, m.v. Kavaratti remained berthed there at the time of filing this report for instructions to be taken under tow to Kochi for repairs. “We would also see if it would be possible to run on one of the unaffected engines. But that is a call to be taken by LDCL,” said an official.

Meanwhile, after some delay, the stranded passengers of m.v. Kavaratti received food and water. m.v. Lagoons is scheduled to bring to Kochi passengers from Amini, Kadmat, and Kavaratti.

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