Updated December 29th, 2023 at 18:27 IST

MV Shapteshwari with 200 passengers onboard gets stranded in Brahmaputra, rescued by locals & SDRF

The morning voyage of MV Shapteshwari commenced at 8 AM, but within 30 minutes, the ferry veered off course, finding itself stuck in the riverbed sands.

Reported by: Anirudha Bhakat
Ferry with 200 passengers onboard gets stranded | Image:Republic
Advertisement

Assam: Earlier today, the MV Shapteshwari, a large ferry navigating the Brahmaputra River with 200 passengers and multiple vehicles onboard got stranded. Departing from Nimatighat in Jorhat, en route to Kamalabari in Majuli, the ferry got stuck in the river's shallows due to the combination of winter conditions and dense fog.

As the Brahmaputra's water levels decrease during winter, navigation for larger ferries becomes increasingly challenging. The morning voyage of MV Shapteshwari commenced at 8 AM, but within 30 minutes, the ferry veered off course, finding itself stuck in the riverbed sands due to poor visibility caused by fog. Promptly, an alert was issued to both riverbanks, urging the passengers and vehicle occupants not to panic. 

Advertisement

Stranded for over two hours, the ferry awaited assistance. Subsequently, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and locals rushed to the scene, successfully rescuing the stranded vessel. "Receiving the distress call around 8:30 AM, we immediately mobilised SDRF units stationed at Nimatighat and Kamalabari. With the aid of local support, the ferry and all its passengers were safely rescued," stated an official. He also informed that all passengers are safe.

This incident follows previous concerns regarding safety measures in water transport. In response to a tragic 2021 collision between two ferries resulting in a fatality, the Inland Water Transport (IWT) department imposed strict regulations. Small motor vessels were banned, and mandatory online ticketing was enforced, particularly for journeys between Majuli and Jorhat, aiming to enhance passenger safety. Despite these safety measures, instances of boats capsizing and ferries grounding on riverbeds continue to challenge the IWT's efforts to ensure passenger safety.

Advertisement


 

Advertisement

Published December 28th, 2023 at 15:58 IST