Indian Navy Searching for Missing Fishermen in APL Boxship Collision
The Indian Navy joined the ongoing search for the missing crew of a trawler after the fishing boat collided with a containership during a storm overnight on April 13. Nine members of the crew of the trawler remain missing after the collision while the Coast Guard reports that two were recovered from the ocean and three bodies were located near the location of the wreck.
The collision happened approximately 40 nautical miles west of New Mangalore, India on the Arabian Sea. The 123,000 dwt APL Le Havre is believed to have hit the trawler. The fishing vessel with a crew of 14 aboard immediately capsized.
Reports from one of the two survivors of the accident said that the trawler had sailed from Beypore, in southwest India, late on April 11, but the vessel later decided to head out into the deeper ocean in search of its catch. They had completed putting out their nets and the crew was going to sleep when the collision occurred. The survivor who was awakened by the sound of the collision reported that the seas were rough and that it was raining when the accident occurred.
The 123,000 dwt APL Le Havre was sailing from Singapore to the APL terminal at Nhava Sheva, near Mumbai on the west coast of India. The Singapore-flagged boxship with a capacity of 10,100 TEU has remained on the scene since the collision with Indian authorities reporting that they are interviewing the crew as part of their investigation.
The Indian Coast Guard deployed three of its vessels as well as a SAR aircraft and other fishing boats also responded. Two survivors were found clinging to the capsized trawler and pulled to safety with no major injuries. The bodies of three crew that had died were also recovered from the ocean. Some of the missing crew was believed to have been trapped under the overturned trawler.
Two Indian Navy ships along with naval aircraft from Goa were deployed on April 14 to augment the SAR efforts of Coast Guard vessels. The Navy also sent a patrol boat with two specialist dive teams to conduct a snagline search and to look for crew members possibly trapped inside the trawler.