One sailor was killed and 28 other personnel were rescued after a major fire broke out following an explosion on a Coastal Jaguar, an offshore support ship of the Indian Coast Guard on Monday morning near the outer harbour at Visakhapatnam Port.
According to Coast Guard officials, there were 29 crew members on board the vessel when a huge explosion occurred in the rear of the vessel, where the crew was transferring oil.
All the crew members, several having sustained burn injuries, jumped into the sea to escape the flames. Fire Department officials said that a Fast Patrol Vessel of the Coast Guard which was sailing nearby rushed to the rescue of those in the water.
“The crew of the FPV threw life-jackets and rings and pulled them on to the ship. Those who suffered burn injuries were given first aid and sent to hospitals. Several boats of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust and a Coast Guard helicopter helped in the rescue operation. The fire was also put out on the vessel after several hours and half a dozen ships took part in the operation,’’ an official said.
“The crew of the offshore support ship, used to transfer goods, had to abandon ship after an explosion. What caused the explosion is yet to be ascertained. There were reportedly 29 crew members on board, of whom, 28 have been rescued. The fire on the ship has also been put out. One crew member, who was reported missing, drowned after he jumped out to escape the fire,” a Coast Guard official said.