Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has averted a major ecological disaster off the
bio-sensitive ecology of pristine Nicobar islands after a oil tanker MT
Anasthasia-1 enroute to Dubai carrying approximately 910 Million Tons of bunker
fuel, was towed to safety after the vessel suffered a power breakdown and was
dangerously drifting towards Kachall island.
The vessel, which had 24 crew onboard, experienced total power failure
since November 19. On receipt of information by Maritime Rescue Coordination
Centre (MRCC) Port Blair, a navigational warning was issued and International
safety Net was activated for alerting merchant mariners. Indian Coast Guard
boat from Campbell Bay was rushed for assessment of the situation. ICG Multi
Mission Vessel Vishwast on routine surveillance off Nicobar Islands was also
Indian Coast Guard boarding team embarked the vessel and repaired the Fleet
Broadband Communication equipment, made the Automatic Identification System
operational and prepared the anchor chain cables of the vessel for manual
lowering. Despite dedicated liaison of Indian Coast Guards with owners based at
Kochi, the owners failed to provide tug for assistance.
The vessel was
drifting dangerously towards Katchall island
The vessel was drifting dangerously towards Katchall
island with the risk of running aground and posing dangers of oil spillage off
Nicobar islands. Considering the grave situation, ICG ship swiftly connected
tow and commenced towing the 243 metre long vessel to safe waters. The timely
and effective response by ICG ship obviated the impending threat to the
delicate flora and fauna of these islands, a Coast Guard release stated.