Video: Indian Navy Halts Burning Boxship's Drift
On Monday, the Indian Navy deployed a boarding crew to the burning container ship SSL Kolkata at a position 10 nm off the coast of Sundarban National Park, a large protected area on the border between India and Bangladesh.
A Seaking helicopter from India's Eastern Naval Command winched down Marine Commando Officer onto the deck of the the boxship, which has been on fire for four days. The officer made sure that conditions on the bow were safe, then called on the helicopter crew to lower three crewmembers of the Kolkata. The team dropped the starboard anchor in an attempt to prevent the ship from drifting further. The Indian Navy reported that the mission was successful in halting the Kolkata's movement.
SSL Kolkata drifting in Ganges Delta before the intervention of the Indian Navypic.twitter.com/QmxO1zh67Z— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) June 16, 2018
On the night of June 13, the 1,100 TEU container feeder SSL Kolkata suffered an explosion on deck and a fire near Sagar Island in the Bay of Bengal. The following day, all 22 members of her crew abandoned ship and were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard cutter RCGS Rajkiran, which brought them safely back to shore at Haldia. No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but authorities have not ruled out a chemical fire as the initial source.
An offshore vessel belonging to EMAS Offshore has been dispatched to assist the Kolkata. India's Directorate General of Shipping reports that Smit Salvage has been hired to manage the response and recovery of the vessel.