Cement Carrier Sinks off Mumbai, Three More Merchant Ships in Distress

Following the rescue of the MV Jindal Kamakshi and its crew, four more merchant ships have issued distress signals after being battered by strong winds and heavy rains caused by a deep depression in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of India, according to local media.

The cement carrier MV Coastal Pride has sunk some 24 nautical miles south of Daman. Indian Navy and Coast Guard sent out three helicopters to airlift 14 crew members from the sinking vessel. Six crewmen were airlifted before the ship sank, while the remaining eight were plucked from the sea. All of the crewmembers are reportedly unharmed, and have been transported to Umar Gaon.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Mumbai (MRCC) received a call that the container ship MOL Cosmos lost 20 containers some 22 nautical miles off Mumbai on June 22. The boxship was en route from Saudi Arabia’s port of Dammam to Singapore.

Another boxship, TCI Arjun, has reportedly lost 5 containers in the storm. MRCC Mumbai has warned the vessels sailing through the area to keep a lookout on the drifting containers, saying that they are likely to come ashore in the following days.

The fourth ship is reportedly drifting unmanned. The unidentified ship was being towed from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi, when the towline broke off Veraval in Gujarat.

The attempts to reconnect the towline have been unsuccessful due to adverse weather conditions. The Indian Coast Guard is currently monitoring the vessel, and is ready to assist should the vessel start drifting towards the shore.

The depression over the northeast and adjoining east central Arabian Sea moved slightly eastwards and was centered about 160 miles southwest of Porbandar as of yesterday.

Squally wind speeds reaching up to 40 mph are expected to prevail along and off Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast during the next 24 hours. The fishermen have been advised not to venture out into seas over the next two days.

World Maritime News Staff