Indian Coast Guard's swift action on Sunday saved the lives of fishermen in distress after a cylinder blast and a following fire engulfed the boat off Mangaluru coast. A cylinder on a fishing boat from Tamil Nadu had exploded when the boat was approximately 140 nautical miles west off New Mangalore.The people in the boat immediately contacted the Coast Guard. ICG's two offshore patrol vessels from Mumbai, Sachet and Sujeet assessed the casualty and evacuated severely injured victims and administered medical aid. Braving the high seas, the ship headed for New Mangalore for further specialised hospital management in respect to the casualties. Coast Guard Karnataka, without wasting much time liaised with New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) to provide assistance for specialised medical care.
According to the ICG, a message was received by Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) stating that a Tamil Nadu fishing boat had engulfed in massive fire due to a cylinder burst onboard IND - TN-15 -MM-5297 name IFB AVKM.
"Apparently, the fishing boat had 11 fishermen crew onboard. MRCC Mumbai immediately swung into action and diverted Two Offshore Patrol Vessels namely Sachet and Sujeet patrolling in area for immediate assistance. In addition, ISN was also activated to seek assistance from passing by Merchant Ships to which two merchant ships responded. However, the ICG with State of Art ship proceeded to datum with maximum speed within 3 hr from the time the message was received," read the release.
''The fishermen were brought to the New Mangalore port by evening. One fisherman, who sustained 36 % surface area burns was rushed to the government Wenlock hospital. All other fishermen are safe and medical aid and food have been arranged. The owners are reportedly arranging a boat for towing the damaged fishing boat,'' a Coast Guard release said.