Two days after four boys nearly drowned in a bid to get close to MV Wisdom, the ship that has been stranded off the Juhu beach for a little over a week now, the Mumbai fire brigade have asked police authorities to increase deployment of personnel on the beach and to cordon off the area to prevent any untoward incidents.
The civic disaster management cell on Monday liaised and coordinated with other authorities including the police department and the fire brigade to tighten security arrangements at the beach by arranging for more security personnel.
“The merchant vessel has been drawing a lot of crowd to the beach. In the excitement to see the ship from close quarters, many venture into the sea, thereby increasing the chances of mishaps,” said a fire official.
Chief fire officer AT Shinde said, “We have asked the police to cordon off the area so that the crowd, and especially children, don’t venture too close into the sea.” There are seven fire brigade lifeguards posted on the beach. During high tides and on weekends, when the beach is more crowded than on weekdays, the flood rescue team (FRT) and additional officers are posted on the beach.
“There is so much curiosity to see the ship, that many people ignore our warnings and go close to the ship to click photographs. Some even attempt to climb it,” said a lifeguard.
On Sunday, three 15-year-olds - Kunal More, Amit Shivram and Aniket Surve - were swept away as they got too close to the ship. They were rescued by the FRT at 2.30pm and around 6.30 pm, 28-year-old Mohib Siddique was rescued by the FRT and fire brigade lifeguards.
The 7,000-tonne vessel was being taken to Alang yard in Gujarat from Colombo when the tug rope snapped and the ship drifted away. The ship was located four nautical miles off the Bandra sea link on June 10. It later ran aground at the Juhu beach. Attempts to re-float the ship have been abandoned, as the vessel is not responding to efforts.