Coast Guard officials rescued 16 scientists and 30 crew members after a major fire broke out in their research vessel off Mangalore coast in Karnataka Friday. The officials said the fire was doused after an eight-hour operation.
According to Coast Guard officials, they received an information that one SCI Ocean Research Vessel, Sagar Sampada, had caught fire and the crew members were not being able to bring the blaze under control. The information was received by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre around 10 pm on Friday, that was then forwarded to the Coast Guard, Western Command Headquarters in Mumbai. They diverted two vessels — ICGS Vikram and ICGS Sujay — to the spot.
“The Indian Coast Guard ships arrived at the vessel’s position in the early hours of Saturday and deployed a joint fire fighting team to contain the fire. Additionally, the external fire fighting systems on the ICG ships were also used to control the fire,” said an official.
On Saturday, the fire was brought under control, following which they assessed the situation. They found out that eight compartments of the vessel had caught fire and later escorted the vessel along with the crew members and the scientists on board to the New Mangalore harbour. “The crew members included three women,” added an official. The officials said they were yet to ascertain the origin of fire.