'Fire on stranded ship off Lakshadweep brought down, all passengers & crew safe'
The Indian Coast Guard said on Thursday that a fire that broke out in the engine room of a stranded ship a few nautical miles off the coast of Lakshadweep was brought down and all passengers and crew members were safe.
A PTI report said the ship, MV Kavaratti, stranded with over 322 passengers and 85 crew members a day ago was safely towed by a Coast Guard vessel, Samarth, to Androth island on Thursday morning.
The ship was stranded for about sis hours on the high seas about 16 nautical miles from Kavaratti on Wednesday after the fire broke out in its engine room, following which the engine had to be shut down before extinguishing the flames.
The welfare officer of the ship said all the passengers were safe and those who were bound for Androth were disembarked there.
The remaining passengers, who were going to other islands of the archipelago, would be transferred to MV Corals which would ferry them to their respective destinations, he added.
The report quoted a passenger and resident of Androth, Sameer Babu, as saying that there was no back-end support, like food and water, from the Lakshadweep administration or the mainland while the ship was stranded in the high seas for hours on Wednesday.
Babu, who was returning home from Kochi on the ship, said it was the vessel's crew who took care of the passengers' needs like food and water and "they are our real heroes".
The ship was en route to Androth from Kavaratti, where it had arrived on Monday from Kochi with over 600 passengers, when the incident occurred. By Thursday morning, the stranded vessel was towed to port by Coast Guard ship Samarth.
(With inputs from agencies)