A merchant vessel named Princess Miral ran aground almost five nm off the city after there were damages to its hull. This happened on Tuesday. It reportedly sank on Thursday close to Batpady, per K.V. Rajendra, the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada.
Dr. Rajendra heads the District Disaster Management Committee. He appointed S.B. Venkatesh, the Karnataka Coast Guard Commander, and Deputy Inspector-General, as the Incident Commander on Thursday to take necessary steps to prevent oil spills that could result from the sunken vessel.
Coast Guard personnel were able to rescue the 15-member crew comprising Syrians as they abandoned the vessel on Tuesday after the ingress of water began.
The Deputy Commissioner chaired a meeting of the Disaster Management Committee on Thursday. In the meeting, Rajendra mentioned that the agency that is associated with the sunken vessel has sent personnel for removing engine oil from the merchant vessel to prevent an oil spill.
The neighboring Kasaragod district of Kerala has been alerted. The Department of Fisheries will be alerting fishermen against fishing in the area where the vessel sunk.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board or KSPCB will test samples of seawater at regular intervals.
NMPA as well as the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) were asked to aid KSPCB officials. All other departments are requested to be alert and told the measures that have to be undertaken in consultation with the Coast Guard if an oil spill is ever spotted in the river or on the coast.
The Coast Guard has finished questioning crew members and on Wednesday, handed them over to the Coastal Security and Mangaluru City Police. The 15 members of the crew have been taken to a city guesthouse. They will be sent to the foreigners’ detection center in Nelamangala in Bengaluru, from where they are going to be deported.
The vessel was loaded with 8,000 tonnes of steel coil from China and was sailing for Beirut in Lebanon. All crew members had valid documents.