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Bulker Strikes Indian Fishing Vessel and Keeps Sailing

bulk carrier hits Indian fishing boat sending two to hospital
Damage to the fishing boat struck by a bulker (Indian Coast Guard)

Published Oct 25, 2021 3:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

Indian authorities are investigating a bulk carrier in the anchorage of Mumbai after an accident in which a local fishing boat was struck by a merchant ship. According to reports for the local fishing association, the merchant vessel proceeded despite repeated calls from the fishing vessel after the incident. The Indian Coast Guard tracked down the vessel and brought them back to the spot for an investigation before they were permitted to proceed to Mumbai.

The vessel, the 61,339 dwt Navios Venus, registered in Panama, was reported to be traveling from Singapore to Mumbai. It is believed to have struck the fishing vessel Sijumon-1 approximately 19 nautical miles outside the fishing harbor of Colachel on the southern tip of India. 

The captain of the fishing boat told the Coast Guard that they had departed port Friday evening, October 22, with a crew of 17 aboard. At about 8:15 p.m. he said they were hit by a large merchant vessel. The captain told the Coast Guard that everyone aboard knocked off their feet, but that he was able to swerve his vessel to avoid more significant damage. 

After being struck, the captain of the fishing vessel said he repeatedly tried to call the bulker on the emergency Channel 16 but received no response. The vessel continued sailing, so the captain placed a distress call to the Indian Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard reported that two crew members were in serious condition and removed from the fishing vessel and transferred to a hospital. The other crew members were treated for minor injuries and the Coast Guard escorted the fishing vessel back to port. 

Based on the complaint filed by the captain of the fishing boat, charges of rash navigation and causing harm have reportedly been lodged against the bulker. The fishermen’s association and the commissioner of fisheries and fishermen welfare are also demanding compensation for the damage caused to the fishing boat and a broader investigation to improve safety for fishing boats operating in Indian waters.