On the night/morning of 24-25 Feb 15, Indian Coast Guard undertook three different Search and rescue operations off the coast of Jakhau, Gujarat. Braving rough seas and weather conditions, ICG coordinated and rescued 21 precious lives from three sinking Barges during these operations. A brief detail of the incidents are enumerated below:-
Rescue of 04 Crew of Barge Sea Pearl. At about 2230 hrs on 24 Feb 15 ICG Station Jakhau, Gujarat received a telephonic call from Port Officer, Jakhau Port regarding sinking of barge ‘Sea Pearl’ with 05 crew about 09 Nm into Jakhau sea. Within minutes ICG Hovercraft H-189 was immediately launched for Search and Rescue. Considering unfavorable sea conditions with sea state - 3, swell height about 2.5 m and winds gusting to 25 knots, Coast Guard Interceptor Boat C-408 was also sailed to augment the SAR operation. Additionally, Tug Lucky ex- M/s Sanghi Port operating in vicinity was also requested to assist in rescue operations.C-408 and H-189 successfully coordinated the rescue operation and 04 out of five crew members were rescued onboard Tug Lucky, while C-408 continued to search for the missing crew.
Rescue of 07 Crew of Barge Somya. While engaged in search of the missing crew, at about 2340h, C 408 was informed of another distress onboard barge ‘Somaya’ of M/s MK Shipping, with 07 crew onboard, which was sinking close to barge Sea Pearl due to flooding in engine room. C-408 braving rough sea- conditions along with three other Barges SP-1, Jakhau –III and Muskan-I co-ordinated rescue efforts and rescued all the 07 crew from Barge Somaya. All the rescued crew were then transferred to Barge SP-1 and directed to return Jakhau port while C-408 and ACV H-189 continued to search for one of the missing crew of Barge Sea Pearl.
Rescue of 15 Crew of Barge SP-1 . Further, At about 0250 h on 25 Feb 15, Barge ‘SP-1’ while proceeding for Jakhau Port ran aground about 02 Nm from nearest land and her lower compartments were flooded. ACV H-189 was again diverted for assistance and successfully rescued all the 15 crew (10 crew of SP-1 and 05 rescued crew of barge Somaya) from Barge SP-1. The rescued crew was then brought to Jakhau and handed over to representatives of M/s Jakhau Salt.
The search for one missing crew of Barge Sea Pearl is still in progress.