In the summer of 1998, an offshore supply tug sank in the
Gulf of Kutch due to the fury of
the prevalent cyclonic weather. The vessel was mainly engaged to assist the
tankers while berthing and Unberthing at the LPO.
In the fateful day, the said vessel was anchored
near the LPO. Upon receiving the cyclonic weather forecast,
the Master shifted his vessel to deeper waters and anchored
to his satisfaction. Due
to the deteriorating weather, the vessel had kept the engines
on standby at short notice. The four big Yokohama fenders mainly used for
the lighter age operation were tied to the stern of the
vessel. As the weather deteriorated, the four Yokohama
fenders drifted to the port quarter of the vessel. The severe cyclonic wind and the drag of the
fenders provided additional pull
the vessel and constrained the vessel on her port side.
Due to the wind and the additional pull, the tug
healed over to the port side and with the increase in the
wind, the heal increased
Progressively. The inclement weather prevented the crew to
release the fenders. Though
the Master tried to heave up the anchor, but his efforts
were in vain and the vessel sank at the same position.
fact-finding inquiry revealed that a cumulative effect of
the drag due to the fender and the gusting wind led to this
unfortunate incident. It is difficult to say that had there been
no fenders then the vessel would not have met such fate,
but, it can be said with certain degree of certainty that
had the fenders been released, the vessel would have been
able to heave up her anchor and maneuvers to safety.
Having noted the above incident, the Director
General of Shipping
draws attention of all ship-owners, shipmasters and crew
to the above incident and urges them to take preventive
measures while handling large floating units which may be
effected due to the excessive wind leading to destabilizing
effect on the smaller crafts.
issues with the approval of the Nautical Adviser to the
Government of India.
(Capt. L. K.
For Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India