The dredging barge Ibis started sinking on 2 nautical miles south off old Mangaluru port in India. The vessel was deployed in breakwater construction work, but was caught by stormy weather and high waves near ullal sea shore. The vessel started flooding and was in immediate danger of capsizing. The accident was reported to local authorities and Coast Guard Karnataka, requesting assistance. At the scene of the troubled barge was dispatched the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Amartya, which was on patrol in vicinity. The rescue vessel arrived at the site of the accident was lowered her rubber boat, succeeding to rescue four sailors from the sinking dredging barge Ibis. However, another 23 people remained on board of dredger, as the bad weather hampered the rescue operations.
“At about 1645 hrs, the Indian Coast Guard’s Karnataka Headquarters received a message from New Mangalore Port control regarding grounding of barge Ibis South of Old port. The barge with 27 crew onboard was also reported flooding slowly. Reacting swiftly, Indian Coast Guard ship which was patrolling off Karnataka coast diverted to save precious life”, says the official statement of Indian Coast Guard. “Till last report, Indian Coast Guard had saved lives of four crew in challenging seas and dark hours. The rescue operation is still going on even though weather is making it extremely difficult.”, adds the statement.
ICGS Amartya has been maintaining its position in area with continuous communication with the barge and intends to commence rescue operation by first light on June 4th. The Coast Guard Hovercraft ACV H-196 will also be deployed on Sunday for rendering assistance and ICGS Rajdoot has been kept standby at short notice for sailing.
There are no reports about injuries and water pollution, but exact assessment will be done after completion of rescue operations.
The dredging barge Ibis (IMO: 8209212) has overall length of 65.50 m, moulded beam of 32.00 m and maximum draft of 2.40 m. The deadweight of the barge is 2,600 DWT and the gross tonnage is 2,964 GRT.