Two crew members of another tugboat die, three survive, and search on for remaining three
Nine crew members of tugboat ‘Coromondel Supporter IX’ remained stranded at sea at “Mulki Rocks,” about 6 km off the Kaup coast in Udupi district, after the vessel ran aground on Sunday owing to Cyclone Tauktae-induced strong winds and rough waves in the Arabian Sea.
Karnataka Coast Guard Commander, DIG S.B. Venkatesh told The Hindu that efforts were on to rescue the crew. However, the process was getting affected by inclement weather. Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said the crew members were safe.
New Mangalore Port Trust chairman A.V. Ramana told The Hindu that the vessel’s contract with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., (MRPL) ended last December and it was on the port’s outer anchorage since May 5 waiting instructions from owner, M/s Atlantic Shipping.
Owing to the splashing of water into its engine room, the boat lost propulsion and began drifting northwards, finally running aground.
This comes close on the heels of another tugboat, ‘Alliance’, owned by M/s Underwater Services and hired by MRPL, capsizing on Saturday with eight crew members. As many as three persons swam to safety and two bodies were recovered. Search was on for the remaining three missing persons.
The boat was found near the Padubidri coast. MRPL in a statement said the vessel had facilitated crude offloading from a very large crude carrier (VLCC) vessel by Friday evening and was supposed to return to NMPT the same night. However, it started on Saturday morning and underwent distress upon reaching the port facilities.
Meanwhile, one sailor reportedly slipped into the raging Arabian Sea and three were injured on container vessel SSL Ganga that left NMPT on Saturday morning towards Hazira, at about 28 nautical miles from the port. High waves hit the crew when they were on a routine deck inspection, injuring three while one slipped into the sea. The vessel returned to NMPT waters and injured sailors were being treated in a Mangaluru hospital.
One agriculturist died of electrocution in Kaup taluk of Udupi district on Saturday when he came in contact with a snapped power line. A fisherman in Uttara Kannada district was swept away in the waves when he attempted to retrieve a drifting boat.
The raging sea caused severe erosion of the beach-ront all along the 370-km Karnataka coast and brought down several houses and damaged fisheries roads. While about 200 houses were damaged in Udupi district, over 110 houses were damaged in Dakshina Kannada district, according to the respective district administrations.
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