A crude oil tanker flying Liberia’s flag allegedly rammed into a mechanized fishing boat approximately 60 nm off the coast of Colachel in Kanyakumari, impairing the vessel from India, police mentioned on Tuesday.
The crew members of the deep sea fishing craft dubbed Sea Queen was lying anchored away from the Colachel harbour, were taken aback when the giant oil tanker hit and cruised without pausing, claimed police.
Sea Queen was dragged for some time and up to some distance as the anchor rope kept getting entangled in the propeller. Water entered the fishing vessel, and it would have sunk.
But the presence of mind displayed by one of the crew members who severed the rope brought respite in saving the people on board, and the boat from sinking, explained Capt Johnson Charles, the secretary of a fishermen association dubbed the Meenavar Orunginaippu Sangam.
The 14 individuals got a providential escape. Recovering from the shock, they let out an SOS, and another vessel a little away came to the rescue and towed the impaired boat to Colachel harbour.
In the complaint filed with the police, Reslin Dani, the skipper, stated that the Liberian-flagged oil tanker had hit his vessel close to 12.30 pm on 14 January and went on without stopping. He said the hull of the mechanized craft was impaired in the incident and sought actions on the oil tanker.
An online complaint with the Director General of Shipping has been asked for, demanding actions against the tanker and also its detainment at the next stop, Charles reported to PTI.
He claimed that the fishermen would’ve had a tragic fate if the anchor’s rope had not been cut on time. He added that the tanker measured almost 330 meters in length and 60 meters in width.
The Coastal Security Group police, Colachel, reportedly registered a case and thoroughly investigated the matter.
References: TOI, The Week, Dev Discourse