On June 3, the 66 meter long, 2600 dwt dredge barge Ibis began to sink off Ullal, Karnataka, India. The Ibis had been working on breakwater construction when it was caught in bad weather. The dredge began to flood from the heavy seas and was in danger of capsizing.
Local authorities were alerted and the Indian Coast Guard dispatched a rescue vessel which was patrolling near by. The rescue boat arrived on scene and began rescue operations. Rescuers were able to transfer four of the 27 crew on board the Ibis before weather slowed their efforts. Not until the following day did authorities were able to rescue all the remaining 23 crew. No reports of injuries.
Authorities reported there is some concern that some pollution will be released. Several items have broken free from the dredge including gas cylinder and other flotsam. Reports state the Ibis had both fuel oil and diesel fuel on board it’s fuel tanks and the dredge is close to the shoreline making it a high risk of fouling beaches with pollution.
On June 5, the Ibis had partially sank with some of the superstructure still above water. Reports state the dredge will most likely sink by the next day unless authorities can successfully tow the vessel into port.
The 78 meter long, 2047 dwt cargo vessel Coastal Pride capsized and sank off Dahanu near Mumbai, India. The Coastal Pride had suffered a mechanical failure on June 22 while caught in a storm. The crew was able to make an emergency anchor off Dahanu. However, the Coastal Pride began to roll badly in the strong winds and rough seas the following day. Eventually, the cargo vessel developed a list and the crew sent out a distress call. The Indian Coast Guard dispatched two helicopters to the scene. The helicopters arrived on scene and winched six crew off the vessel and took them ashore. On the third round, the Coastal Pride finally rolled over and sank. The remaining eight crew were pulled from the water. No reports of injuries.
The two vessels approach each other 5 miles offshore. The MSC Chitra was in the outbound in the main navigation channel. The Khalija had crossed the channel 1.7 miles ahead of the MSC Chitra and turned to port to join the channel. Instead of following the rules of navigation, the Khalija III contined to turn to port when the Khalija III bow struck into the midships between the No. 2 and No. 3 cargo holds of the MSC Chitra.
The MSC Chitra hull was ripped open from the collision and massive flooding caused the boxship to list sharply. The list continue to worsen until it passing 45 degrees allowing over 200 containers to fall into the sea. The collision also pierced the vessel’s fuel tanks allowing some 800 tons of fuel oil to be released. The MSC Chitra’s crew were able to keep the vessel under control long enough to intentionally ground it off Prong Reef Lighthouse. The crew were later rescued by the nearby tug Vamsee. The Khalijia III sustained structural damage after the collision. With its bow crushed, it developed cracks along its hull. The vessel was still able to proceed and continued into port.
The MSC Chitra, built in 1980, was built before double-hull fuel tanks were required for containerships.
Salvage operations for the MSC Chitra proved to be difficult as the boxship had continued to list to 75 degrees onto its side. Salvage teams were able to pump out the fuel off the boxship to prevent any further pollution being released, but the vessel had various containers holding various toxic and hazardous chemicals. Many containers were recovered and removed off the vessel, but the damage to the MSC Chitra made it impossible to save it. An effort was made to sell the vessel to the ship breakers, but the MSC Chitra still had 500 containers of chemicals on board. The potential danger to the workers who would shred the vessel was too high resulting that no one wanted to buy the boxship for scrap. Salvage teams were able to patch the MSC Chitra and tow it out into deep waters some 350 miles offshore in international waters.
The ill-fated Khalija III was taken under possession of the Mumbai port authorities and was later scrapped. The vessel had owed money to a salvage company for a prior grounding on July 18 before the collision with MSC Chitra. Indian courts ordered the damaged vessel to be sold for scrap. During scrapping operations, the engine of the vessel caught fire. Local fire brigades took three hours to douse the flames.