Sunday, July 01, 2007
An Albanian cargo vessel sank off Kochi shortly after its 15-member crew, including five Indians, was rescued. The crew of the Panama-registered M V Maria was rescued at 1915 hrs and brought to Cochin Port Trust (CPT) hospital for a check up, a port release said. Besides the five Indians, the rest of the crew were all Albanains. None of them suffered any injuries. The ship, carrying steel billets, was on its way to Albania from China when it developed a leak in the hull on June 26. The vessel anchored off the outer harbour for repairs. However, the captain of the vessel informed the port this evening that it was sinking. The port immediately sent two tugs to rescue the crew.
M V MariaThe crew of the tugs noticed that the bow of the merchant ship had started going down and its had lost speed. The Maria's crew was rescued and the sinking vessel was steered off the main channel of the port. The port said the Maria sank at 1820 hrs at a spot about 500 metres north of the channel. The customs and emigration departments and the nautical advisor to the Union government have been informed about the sinking of the vessel. The port said prompt action and the "daring act" of steering the ship out of the port channel while it was sinking had saved the channel from being blocked. If the vessel had sunk in the channel, it could have resulted in hindrance to naval ships. The port's Deputy Chairman, Captain Subhash Kumar, and the Deputy Conservator, Captain Paul Joseph, monitored the rescue operations. The port has informed the navy and coast guard to take precautionary measures in case there is an oil spill from the merchant vessel.