Warship, vessel collide off Mumbai

SOURCE: TOI

A naval warship, INS Vindhyagiri, collided head-on with a Cyprus flag merchant ship, M V Nordlake, near Sunk Rock Lighthouse off Mumbai harbour on Sunday evening. There were no casualties or oil spill, but shipping ministry officials said the incident was serious as it involved an Indian Navy ship and occurred in broad daylight.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust officials blamed personnel on board the naval ship for the accident. Director-general of shipping S B Agnihotri has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Apart from naval personnel, Vindhyagiri also had on board families of naval personnel and some civilians who had gone for a sea tour on Sunday. The damaged INS Vindhyagiri, which has reportedly suffered a crack in its hull, was brought to the naval dockyard.

M V Nordlake started off from JNPT at 1.54 pm on Sunday with a JNPT pilot to escort it out of the channel. N N Kumar, JNPT deputy chairman, said, “Our pilot was constantly in touch with the vessel tracking monitoring system on the wireless. The collision happened near the Sunk Rock Lighthouse at around 3.30 pm.” Shipping ministry officials said it was surprising how the crew of the two ships did not spot each other on a sunny afternoon.

“The incident is quite serious as naval officials are highly trained,” said an official not wishing to be identified.

Officials said that papers of M V Nordlake were seized as insurance formalities have to be completed. Naval officials are yet to assess the financial aspect of the damage. Vindhyagiri is in the naval dockyard and will be examined thorougly on Monday, said a naval official.

JNPT officials said that M V Nordlake was 175 metres long and fully laden with containers, but unlike the MSC Chitra-Khalijia-III collision last year, there was no oil spill or hindrance to traffic in the port or channel.

The shipping ministry is planning to revamp its communication system soon. In the last two years, there have been three major ship collisions. Last year, apart from the Chitra-Khalijia collision, coast guard ship Vivek sunk in the port after it was hit by Panamanian vessel Global Purity in March. On August 31, two ships collided at Indira Docks.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jan 31 2011. Filed under India. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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