In light of the death of three teenage girls after a ferry boat capsized in the sea off Dahanu, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has intensified its crackdown on illegal vessels in the sea. “The ferry boat that capsized in Dahanu on Saturday was illegal. It had neither been surveyed nor registered with the MMB. Following the unfortunate incident, we have intensified our survey along the coast for safety measures on vessels,” said Vikram Kumar, CEO, MMB.
On Saturday, a boat carrying 34 people including two operators capsized two nautical miles off the Parnaka beach in Dahanu. While 31 of them were rescued, three girls died. Barring the ferry operators, all passengers were students of KL Ponda Junior College. The Palghar police have arrested the owner of the ferry and one of the operators who was on board the vessel when it capsized. “We are yet to arrest the second operator as he is in hospital. We are currently recording statements of all involved parties,” said Manjunath Singe, SP, Palghar.
According to Singe, prima facie the boat capsized because there were more than double the maximum capacity on the boat. “It appears most students had moved to one side of the vessel and hence it toppled,” he said. Meanwhile, the collector’s office has sought explanation from the MMB on how to avoid illegal ferry rides.