If sources are to be believed, the vessel ferrying port workers to the Marine Oil Depots lacks basic firefighting equipment, thus putting their lives at risk.
Though the vessel transports around 200 men, it does not possess a communication system and does not have enough life jackets, said a source in the establishment. The people on-board rely on their cellphones – which fail to connect owing to the lack of network -- to communicate with the authorities during their 28 nautical miles journey to the offshore destination, sources claimed.
“Employees of around 10 departments including labourers and shore canteen workers travel to the depots at Butcher Island (Jawahar Dweep) from Ferry Wharf. There is no life-saving equipment such as rafts or rings in the vessel. It has only 5 life jackets for 200 travellers. If the vessel meets with an accident, it may lead to a disaster with its location in the high seas and the absence of wireless communication system,” said a source.
About the lack of equipment, PP Bhonde, port fire and safety officer, said, “Sometimes providing everything to everybody is not possible. If the ferry meets with an accident, help can be sought from several other boats.”