The nine tugs aboard Coromondel rescued
In a coordinated effort involving the State and Union governments, the nine crew members aboard the tugboat Coromondel Supporter IX, which ran aground in the open sea on “Mulki Rocks” off the coast of Kaup Sunday, were rescued Monday morning.
As the Arabian Sea calmed down somewhat after Cyclone Tauktae exited the region, the Karnataka Coast Guard deployed speedboats from its ICGS vessel Varaha and rescued five crew members. Meanwhile, four were airlifted by the Indian Navy’s IN 702 forward light helicopter which joined rescue operations at Southern Naval Command, Kochi. The crew members, who appeared normal, were taken to New Mangalore Port Trust Hospital for examination and observation.
As the Coast Guard struggled to save the crew since Sunday morning amid the raging seas and monitored Coromondel remotely via ICGS Varaha, Dakshina Kannada’s administration reached out to the government to seek help from the Center. . Although the Navy was ready to carry out the rescue operation on Sunday evening, bad weather did not allow it.
District Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel and Deputy Commissioner KV Rajendra visited the Coast Guard District Headquarters and discussed rescue operations with Commander DIG SB Venkatesh Monday morning. By 11 a.m., the combined rescue operations were over.
Meanwhile, Revenue Minister R. Ashok ordered a statutory investigation by Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada to go into details of the misadventures involving the tugs Alliance and Coromondel Supporter IX. The investigation will examine the reasons for their drift, why they did not obey orders from statutory authorities to navigate to safer places and who was responsible for the accidents. Based on the investigation report, appropriate action would be taken against those affected, he said.
About 20,000 liters of diesel are believed to be inside the Coromondel tug that ran aground Mulki Rocks and the same was ordered to be removed immediately to avoid environmental pollution. Similar steps would also be taken for the tug Alliance, the minister said.