The crew intimated ICG that MSV Messiah had sunk 15 nautical miles off Kalpeni Island at around 9 am due to water ingress
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) carried out a swift and dramatic rescue operation and rescued seven seafarers who were clinching to a partially submerged lifeboat 30 nautical miles (about 55 kms) off Kalpeni Island, Lakshadweep, at about 6.45 pm on Friday.
The rescued men were on board MSV Messiah, which had departed Tuticorin Port on January 9 with cargo meant to be delivered in Kavaratti Island. On Friday at 5 am, it experienced heavy influx of seawater due to inclement weather and began sinking. The master called the vessel’s owner, who in turn alerted Kalpeni Port Control. The vessel could not be contacted as its communication equipment turned defective due to the flooding.
On receipt of information from the port control at 11.30 am, the ICG swung into action and diverted its ship Sujeet that was patrolling the area to do search and rescue (SAR).
At 3 pm, ICGS C-444 from Kavaratti and CG Dornier aircraft from Kochi were deployed for a sea-air coordinated rescue mission. After extensive search of the sea, just before dusk, the aircraft noticed a partially-submerged life boat having seven crew and informed the ICG ships. ICGS C-444 arrived at the spot and rescued the crew. The crew were given treatment and taken care on board ICGS Sujeet.
The crew intimated ICG that MSV Messiah had sunk 15 nautical miles off Kalpeni Island at around 9 am due to water ingress and that they had lost their hope of survival since their lifeboat was adrift since the incident and was also taking water. The crew were brought to Kavaratti for further medical assistance and handed over to local authorities on Saturday, for being sent back to Tuticorin.
The rescued crew and fly members expressed gratitude to the crew for swift action to rescue them.