Coast Guard aids 8 scientists, 36 crew of stranded NIO ship off Karwar
Mumbai: Moving swiftly, the Indian Coast Guard saved eight prominent scientists and 36 crew members on a state-of-the-art research vessel of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) which was adrift off the Karwar coast, an official said here on Thursday.
The ship, ‘RV Sindhu Sadhana’ was drifting dangerously close to the Karwar shore in Karnataka following an engine failure and could pose a potential environmental disaster,
The distressed vessel, stuck at around 20 nautical miles, was approaching the Karwar coast at a speed of three knots when the ICG received the SOS.
“The situation was critical, as the NIO, a state-of-the-art research vessel, was carrying valuable scientific equipment and research data. Moreover, the proximity of the ship to the ecologically sensitive Karwar coastline posed an imminent threat of grounding, which could have resulted in a major oil spill and devastating pollution to the pristine marine environment,” said an official.
On receiving the distress call, the ICG swung into action and activated a high-priority rescue operation, dispatching their highly advanced ship with a specialized team to the area.
Recognizing the potential magnitude of the disaster, and battling tough weather conditions, the ICG also took measures to safeguard the RV Sindhu Sadhana to prevent it from running aground in the fragile ecosystem of Karwar.
Given the sea conditions, the size of the distressed ship, the distance from the shore and other factors, the ICG towed the RV Sindhu Sadhana and safely brought it to Goa, around 70 nautical miles away.
The ICG said that the entire team of scientists and crew onboard the NIO ship were safe and the quick response operation helped avert a potential maritime and ecological hazard.