Coast Guard to the rescue of MV Kavaratti after fire in engine room leaves it stranded in the high seas off Lakshadweep with more than 600 passengers

Published : December 03, 2021 09:44 IST

MV Kavaratti, a file photograph.

A fire engulfed the engine room when the ship was around 16 nautical miles from Kavaratti. Although the crew doused the flames, the ship’s engines had to be shut down.

The cruise-cum-passenger ship MV Kavaratti sailing in the Lakshadweep archipelago with 624 passengers and 85 crew was stranded in the high seas for over six hours because of a fire on board and was towed to safety by the Indian Coast Guard on December 2. According to sources in the Coast Guard, all passengers and crew are safe.

MV Kavaratti, which embarked from Kochi on November 29, and was hoping from Kavaratti, the capital of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, to the small island of Androth. However, a fire engulfed the engine room when the ship was around 16 nautical miles from Kavaratti. Although the crew doused the flames, the ship’s engines had to be shut down, the sources said.

The fire was reported to the Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mumbai by the Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd. The Coast Guard swiftly deployed the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samarth for the rescue mission. The ICGS Samarth, a team from which boarded the stricken vessel 30 nautical miles off Kavaratti Island, towed the vessel to Androth island. With the onboard generator having failed, thanks to the fire, the shell door could not be operated for the "safe and expeditious evacuation of all passengers". A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said the MV Kavaratti was taken under tow by ICGS Samarth during the early hours of December 2. All passengers were disembarked at Androth.

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