A floating restaurant, Ark Deck Bar, capsized near Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) on Friday afternoon. As many as 15 workers who were on-board the floatel were rescued by the police. The floatel was hosting its last event before monsoon.
“Around 1.30 pm after we learnt about the floatel capsizing off the BWSL, a team was sent. The ship owners informed us that because of gusty winds the floatel swung and hit a rock. Due the impact on the boat’s hull, it developed a hole through which water started seeping in. The crew was rescued and within a few hours the boat capsized,” said a senior officer from the Mumbai Police, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The crew, which had been cleaning up after the boat’s final sailing for the current season, had tried until 5.30 pm to mend the hole in the hull, but were unsuccessful, police said. With water seeping in the vessel dangerously, the crew decided to evacuate and were taken off the vessel by a patrolling Mumbai Police boat.
BMC disaster control room said that it received a call from the police at 7 pm regarding the capsizing and the rescue of 15 people. Two fire engines, an ambulance and a fire brigade watercraft were deployed to assist in the rescue operations, the BMC said. Captain Vikrant Chandwadkar said they were planning to move the floatel to Sewri and are in the process of salvaging the boat.
Earlier, on Friday, Ark Deck Bar had tweeted: “Experience the colours of sunset, chilled beats & ocean waves make the perfect ending of our last evening. We will be back by the end of September, till then stay tuned.”
Maharashtra government has been promoting floatels as a part of their main attraction for coastline tourism. Currently, three floatels are operational near Bandra-Worli Sea Link and two are proposed near the Gateway of India post-monsoon.
Secretary, Mumbai BJP, Vivekanand Gupta had tweeted twice in the last six months, alleging that the floatel’s owners had been operating it without any requisite permission. Having tagged the BMC, the state government and the Indian Navy in his posts, Gupta claimed that the authorities turned a blind eye towards his claims.
“It was a fishing trawler illegally converted into party yacht Avior operated by Ocean Blue at Gateway of India. It later shifted to BWSL after it was renamed as Ark Deck Bar,” Gupta claimed.