Mangaluru: The Indian Coast Guard Ship Savitribai Phule (Mangalore based ship) on December 15, coordinated the rescue of all the 8 crew members of MSV Sumithra, which sank off the Androth Island in Lakshadweep.
The No. 12 Coast Guard District Headquarters (Kavaratti) informed ICGS Savitribai Phule on December 15 that MSV Sumithra with 240 metric tonnes of cargo consisting of bricks, cement and vegetables was drifting 70 Nautical Miles East of Androth Island since December 13. The vessel had sailed from Beyport Port.
Immediately, the search and rescue operations were launched by ICGS Savitribai Phule and the ship headed towards the indicated position. Sea-Air coordinated search was also undertaken with Indian Navy aircraft in the area. The weather conditions were rough. MSV Sumithra sank due to engine failure, heavy winds and huge waves 30 nautical miles off Androth, before it could be located by the ICG ship.
All the 8 crew members of MSV Sumithra were safely picked up by M T Gaschem Norsee, which was transiting from the area. ICGS Savitribai Phule rendezvoused the Motor Tanker on December 15 and took all the 8 crew members of MSV Sumithra onboard using Gemini (Boat) despite rough weather conditions and dark hour. They were provided with medical assistance, food and water. All the crew members were observed to be stable. Thereafter, the ICG ship entered Androth Port and handed over the rescued crew members of MSV Sumithra to the local administration on December 16.
On completion of the rescue operation, Deputy Inspector S S Dasila, TM, Commander, Coast Guard Karnataka stated, “Enhanced operational efficiency and readiness maintained by our ships have resulted in the rescue of precious lives at sea. Effective sharing of information and co-ordination among various stake-holders is the key for any SAR (Search and Rescue) effort for fishermen in distress at sea. Units of ICG at sea are ever ready to produce corresponding results for safeguarding our maritime interests”.