Fire aboard passenger ship to Lakshadweep islands doused
The vessel was brought to Androth on Thursday morning where 274 passengers disembarked.
A fire broke out in the engine room of the passenger vessel MV Kavaratti operated by the Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd (LDCL) while it was sailing to Androth island from Kavaratti around noon on Wednesday.
The fire was doused and all 624 passengers on board are safe, according to sources. “But the vessel is stranded off Androth and its engine has been shut down. There’s total power outage on the vessel,” they said.
Having reached Kavaratti on Wednesday from Kochi, the vessel was sailing to Androth and Kalpeni islands. It was to leave Kalpeni on Thursday for Kadmat and Agatti islands before returning to Kavaratti.
While the Coast Guard has dispatched a vessel to provide assistance to the stranded ship, MV Coral, another ship operated by LDCL, is on its way to tow MV Kavaratti to Androth.
A press release on Thursday said the Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai, was alerted soon after the fire broke out and although the ship’s crew brought the fire under control, the engine room had to be shut which left the ship stranded at sea.
The Coast Guard diverted its ship Samar, which was in the vicinity to render assistance, and the crew of Samar boarded MV Kavaratti some 30 nautical miles off the Kavaratti island.
“Passenger transfer from MV Kavaratti was not possible due to shell evacuation door [remaining] non-operational. Also, the sea was not conducive for a safe transfer of passengers,” the release said.
Despite the Coast Guard ship being much smaller in size compared to MV Kavaratti, it towed the ship to Androth in view of passenger safety. The vessel was brought to Androth on Thursday morning where 274 passengers disembarked.
The remaining 350 would be transferred to MV Corals for passage to Kochi, said the release.