Indian Coast Guard Rescues Dredger Crew
On Saturday, the Indian Coast Guard rescued 27 crew members of the dredger Ibis southwest of Mangalore Old Port in Karnataka.
The Ibis was working on a breakwater at the mouth of the Gurupura River when it ran aground and began taking on water. The coast guard office at Panambur, Mangalore received a distress call from the dredger at 1645 hours Saturday afternoon and tasked the cutter Amartya to respond. The vessel arrived on scene at about 1840 and it deployed an inflatable rescue boat to assist; the Amartya's crew managed to transfer four of 27 barge crewmembers by 2000 hours, but worsening weather conditions forced them to suspend operations overnight. The vessel remained nearby and maintained contact with the dredger crew to monitor their well-being.
At 0600 on Sunday, the wind subsided and rescue operations resumed with the assistance of a boat from the province’s Coastal Security Police, and the combined SAR teams evacuated all remaining personnel from the Ibis.
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies U. T. Khader called on maritime authorities to investigate the accident, noting that the weather was rough at the time of the grounding and that the dredger's operator may have endangered workers by continuing operations in poor conditions. "A detailed investigation should be conducted and action will be taken against the company if the report confirms any lapses on the part of the company,” he told the New Indian Express.
A heavy weather warning was in effect when the incident occurred, and regional deputy commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha told The Hindu that agencies had been directed to exercise caution between June 1 and July 31 due to monsoon season conditions.