Coastguards averts a major ecological disaster off Nicobar Island by towing a oil tanker to safety

2020-11-23 17:37:01 Marine News

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 diverted.

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.          

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