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Alert removed after owners faxed ‘sunk’ report

A Maritime alert for MT Pavit was issued by the Coast Guard’s Western Command after the captain of the vessel sent a distress call on June 30.

A Maritime alert for MT Pavit was issued by the Coast Guard’s Western Command after the captain of the vessel sent a distress call on June 30. Security agencies were alerted about the vessel after the crew was rescued and the ship abandoned off the Oman coast.

The alert,sources now confirm,was removed “only after the owners of the vessel faxed a copy of a British media report saying the ship has sunk”. Initially,the abandoned vessel was in the International Maritime marked as NavArea 8,which includes the Oman coast. The Coast Guard’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) later issued an alert for NavArea 9,the naval area for Indian coastal security jurisdiction. The alert was “to constantly monitor” any vessel that matches the identity and description given as the current,tide and wind direction showed it was headed for the Indian waters.

The alert continued “for quite some time”,till in mid-July the agencies got a communique from the owners that the ship is “reported sunk”. The Coast Guard then asked the owners to supply a copy of the article,which was faxed to the MRCC,Mumbai. It was only after confimation based on British media report and a UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) report that the alert was removed. The owners had also cited “extensive damage” to the ship in their communication.

Seperate enquiries with the Coast Guard also confirmed that the owners had filed for insurance for the ‘sunken’ ship. Once the alert was removed “the lookout for suspicious moving object” was removed.

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First published on: 03-08-2011 at 00:13 IST
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