Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Three days after Turkey’s Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre called off search for the Indian crew of cargo vessel M V Rezzak that went missing in Black Sea on February 18, the Turkish coast guards have once again resumed their search and rescue operations, pressing boats and helicopters into action, according to new information from the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai. The Indian authorities convinced the Turkish authorities for a fresh search operation, as no wreckage or other floating parts belonging to the ill-fated ship was found except an empty life raft and a number of buoys, the Directorate General of Shipping said. It said the Indian Embassy in Ankara sent a diplomatic note to Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they are now constantly in touch with the Turkish Coast Guard.
MV RezzakPanama, the flag state (where the ship is registered), has been requested to convey the schedule and venue of the investigation to the Directorate General of Shipping’s office to “expedite the nomination of their technical officer to attend the investigation”, it said. As is the protocol, a report on the technical fitness of the ship and matters relating to crew manning has been requested from the managers of the vessel immediately after the ship was reported missing. The ship was manned by Mumbai-based agency Pelican Marine. According to its director Santosh Biswas, 25 Indian sailors were on board the ship when it went missing. The International Maritime Bureau, Kuala Lumpur already has ruled out the possibility of marine piracy. The families of the missing sailors, meanwhile, continued to visit the office of Pelican Marine for any update, but returned without any new information.