Port Blair, Aug 31: In an exceptional towing operation, Indian Coast Guard Ship Vishwast rendered assistance to disabled vessel ‘MV Sakthi-II’ which was adrift about 8 n miles south of Neil Island and drifting dangerously towards Sir Hugh Rose Island due failure of its engines, since 29 Aug 18.
At about 0330 hrs on 31 Aug 18, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Port Blair received information from the owner of M/s Sakthi Shipping Services (I) Pvt Ltd, Port Blair about the disabled merchant vessel MV Sakthi-II which was adrift alongwith 17 Indian crew members. The vessel had sailed from Car Nicobar on 28 August 18 and was on passage to Hut Bay when the defect arose.
Defect rectification efforts by the vessel’s crew were unsuccessful due to non-availability of spare parts. Efforts by the owner to tow the vessel using two hired fishing boats were also futile due to the prevailing weather conditions. As the vessel was dangerously drifting towards Sir Hugh Rose islands, posing severe threat to the sensitive marine biodiversity of the islands, ICGS Vishwast was immediately deployed by Coast Guard Regional HQ (A&N) to render necessary assistance.
Despite rough sea conditions, the ICGS Vishwast was able to pass the towing line to the disabled ship which was approaching dangerously close to the island. At the time of writing this report, the vessel is safely being towed by ICGS Vishwast till off Port Blair where PMB tugs will assist the vessel to go to her berth for undertaking necessary repairs.
This ongoing operation once again reflects the acumen and commitment of Indian Coast Guard towards safeguarding precious lives at sea together with the sensitive marine environment of the islands.