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Indian Navy team sent on board container ship on fire to stop it from drifting towards Sunderbans, Bangladesh

An Indian Navy team led by Marine Commandos (MARCOS) from Visakhapatnam managed to prevent a container ship, which had caught fire in the Bay of Bengal on 14 June, from drifting any further.

Plumes of dense smoke rise from the container carrier ship after a fire broke out. PTI

Plumes of dense smoke rise from the container carrier ship after a fire broke out. PTI

The navy arrested the movement of MV SSL Kolkata by anchoring the cargo ship — still on fire — from drifting towards the international maritime boundary line in the Sundarbans delta between India and Bangladesh, reported Deccan Chronicle.

According to India Today, a Sea King 42C helicopter of the Eastern Naval Command first lowered one MARCOS officer to the burning ship, who later called in three others. The team then managed to drop the starboard anchor and also prepared the seamanship gear, in case the vessel needed to be towed. The navy told ANI that if the ship had not been anchored, it could have caused havoc to the flora and fauna of Sunderbans and to the marine life in the Ganges Delta. "No oil spill has been reported as of now," it added.

After the ship caught fire on 14 June in the Bay of Bengal, all 22 crew members were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard ship Rajkiran and Dornier aircraft. Coast Guard units undertook the rescue operation despite bad weather and rough sea conditions. By the time the rescue team reached MV SSL Kolkata, about 70 percent of the vessel was on fire, and the master of the vessel had abandoned ship.

The container carrier was on a coastal voyage from Krishnapatnam to Kolkata with the crew and 464 containers. An explosion in one of the containers caused the fire, which gradually spread.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Jun 16, 2018 16:24 PM

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