How the 102-metre-long carrier vessel Parth sunk in the Arabian Sea

The Indian Coast Guard successfully rescued 19 people from Motor Tanker Parth, a Gabon-flagged vessel, which sank on Friday evening (September 16), 41 nautical miles off the Ratnagiri coast. Within minutes of receiving the distress call, the Indian Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Mumbai swung into action.

How did the vessel Parth sink?

Parth was a 102 metres-long vessel that was made in 2008. It was carrying 3,911 metric tonnes of Asphalt Bitumen and travelling from New Mangalore in Karnataka to Khor Fakkan on the Gulf of Oman in the UAE when there was an ingress of water in one of its compartments. The crew reached out to the MRCC in Mumbai.

The Indian Coast Guard successfully rescued 19 people. (Express Photo)

It was rescued by Coast Guard and others, but the ship finally sunk after 6 pm on Friday. The vessel had 19 crew members, of whom the master, the person in charge of the ship’s navigation, was Ethiopian and the rest of the members were Indians.

What action was taken by MRCC after receiving the call?

The vessel reported flooding at about 9:23 am on Friday, around 41 nautical miles west of the Ratnagiri coast. The vessel was on passage to New Mangalore from Khor Fakkan, UAE. MRCC’s two Coast Guard ships, Sujeet and Apoorva, patrolling in and around the area were diverted to near Parth.

Navigation systems such as the International Safety Net and NAVTEX warnings were relayed to alert other Merchant Vessels in the area. A Coast Guard (CG) advanced light helicopter was deployed as well. Motor Vessel Wadi Bani Khalid was also directed to proceed with the assistance of the CG vessel.

What was the reason for the ingress of water?

The Coast Guard and the shipping ministry is investigating the cause of the ingress. Shipping ministry officers said that as the vessel was not very old, the reason for the water coming in may not be poor maintenance.

Is the sinking of the vessel an environmental hazard?

The fishing ministry has cautioned fishermen from Malvan to Deogad in Maharashtra to look for marine pollution as the vessel was carrying a lot of fuel. Besides, bitumen is also a substance hazardous to ocean life. The shipping ministry said it will now put markers on charts for all vessels to be alert in the area about the sunk vessel.

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