The Indian Navy and Coast Guard on Saturday rescued 23 crew members of a Liberian cargo ship MV Maersk Miami, which had caught fire in the high seas off Goa Friday, an official said.
The ship was heading for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mumbai when a major fire broke out in its engine room. It sent out a distress call around 7.30 p.m. which was picked up by ICGS (Indian Coast Guard Ship) Subhadra Kumari Chauhan patrolling off the Tarapur coast of Maharashtra.
The ship alerted the navy and Coast Guard regional headquarters both in Mumbai and Goa, and the international safety net was activated to alert ships plying in the area so that initial assistance could be provided, an official spokesman said in Mumbai.
Simultaneously, the navy sent a ship with a medical team from Goa and diverted two other naval ships to provide assistance.
The naval and the Coast Guard ships reached the Liberian vessel by midnight and helped douse the fire. By 2 am, the fire was doused and the crew were reported safe and unhurt.
Another vessel, ICGS Samrat reached the scene at 7 am and helped transfer crewmembers to MV Maersk Dauphin and MV Nedllyod Africa, both sister ships of the MV Maersk Miami.
The Liberian ship's owners are now making arrangements to send two ocean tugs by Saturday night to tow the badly damaged vessel to shore for salvage operations.