Mangaluru

After Alliance, another tug in distress off Mangaluru coast, rescue efforts on

A file picture of a tug in operation inside NMPT. Picture used for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: Anil Shastri

Close on the heels of tug Alliance capsizing off Mangaluru coast on May 15 leaving one dead, five missing and three surviving, another tug, Coromondel, with unknown number of occupants, drifted north on May 15 evening and was near Padubidri beach rocks on May 16. The Indian Coast Guard has been making efforts to rescue the crew amid raging waves.

Tug Alliance was under active contract with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., (MRPL) for operating the latter’s single point mooring about 17 km off the coast to offload crude from Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). Coromondel’s contract had ended in December 2020 and the vessel was in the outer anchorage of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) since then. With its crew found to be positive to COVID-19, the vessel lay berthed at the anchorage from May 5, according to sources.

Karnataka Coast Guard Commander, DIG S.B. Venkatesh told The Hindu the Coast Guard was making best efforts to rescue the Coromondel crew. NMPT sources said ICG vessels and personnel were unable to go near Coromondel even though an ICG Ship escorted the tug from a distance.

Water entered Coromondel’s engine room and the Tug drifted due to generator failure. Port sources wondered how the Directorate General of Shipping accorded sea worthiness to the C9 tug owned by Atlantic Shipping that did not have proper life boat.

Regarding tug Alliance, NMPT Chairman A.V. Ramana told The Hindu it was hired by MRPL for SPM operations and was missing since May 15 morning. VLCC crude discharge to MRPL started on May 13 noon and was completed by May 14 6 p.m. VLCC sailed out at 7 p.m. ICG and NMPT had issued weather advisories on May 12 and 13 and again on May 14. NMPT asked Alliance to return.

MRPL in a statement on May 15 night said, “We are pained to inform that one TUG vessel named Alliance, which belongs to M/s Underwater services company Ltd, with 9 of their men on board had faced distress today. This company assists us in Cargo unloading near our SPM and functions in coordination with Port. 2 of the 9 men have survived and rest are missing.”

Crew member slips into sea

Meanwhile, one sailor slipped into the raging Arabian Sea and three were injured on board container vessel SSL Ganga that had left NMPT on May 16 morning towards Hazira at about 28 NM away from the Port. When the crew were undertaking the routine deck inspection, they were hit by high waves, resulting in one slipping into the sea and three getting seriously injured. SSL Ganga has returned to NMPT and its crew were waiting at the outer anchorage for medical assistance.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 7:02:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/after-alliance-another-tug-in-distress-off-mangaluru-coast-rescue-efforts-on/article34570509.ece

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