11 Rescued from Sinking Ship off India

Indian coast guard vessel

Published Feb 5, 2015 8:55 AM by Kayla Turner

In the early hours of Thursday, the Indian Coast Guard rescued all 11 crewmembers of a cargo ship bound for Maldives as it started sinking off India’s Vizhinjam coast. 

Once receiving the distress signal from the Maldivian MV Minnath, Coast Guard rescue teams deployed in two ships and were able to successfully rescue the entire crew. The water inside the vessel was pumped out, and two leaks were plugged - preventing the ship from sinking. It is being towed ashore. 

The vessel, which makes weekly trips to Maldives with perishables, mostly fruits and vegetables, had set sail from Vizhinjam on Wednesday evening. The ship had covered around 30 nautical miles before the crew noticed the flooding. 

According to The Hindu, which spoke with the ship’s owner Finesse Shipping Lines Private Limited, the crew noticed water entering the engine room through two cracks under the room around midnight. They immediately turned the ship around and were on the way back when the engine stalled around 1:30 a.m., about eight nautical miles off the Vizhinjam coast. The crew alerted the firm, who in turn alerted police and Coast Guard officials. With water beginning to seep into the engine room, the hull of the ship had begun to slowly sink.

The crew offloaded a few loads of bananas and watermelons into the sea that were packed near the hull to prevent further sinking. There was a total of 196 tonnes of perishables on board.