Representative photo: PTI
NEW DELHI: State-run explorer ONGC and the Coast Guard on Monday averted a mishap on the high sea after an empty LPG tanker went adrift near the company’s installations in the Arabian Sea.
On May 19, a total of 75 people had died as an accommodation barge Papaa 305 deployed under ONGC contract and carrying 261 on board broke anchor in cyclone Tauktae and sank after hitting a nearby ONGC offshore platform off the Mumbai coast. Another 11 died as tugboat Varapada capsized.
According to a company statement, LPG vessel ‘Gas Yodla’ was on its way to UAE’s Fujairah port from Mongla, Bangladesh on July 24 when it reported engine failure at 6.35 p.m. and started drifting about 20 nautical miles from ONGC’s D1 field off the Mumbai coast.
The Panama-flagged vessel, owned by Dubai-based Shield Marine, had 17 people onboard, including eight Indians and nine Ukrainians.
“After the first information was reported by ODAG (Offshore Defence Advisory Group), ONGC promptly diverted its offshore supply vessel ‘Sagar Pride’ and ODAG mobilized its vessel ‘P R Nayak’ to support the drifting vessel,” ONGC said.
“The efforts succeeded in assisting the distressed vessel and also helped to keep it away from ONGC’s operational area,” the company said. ONGC also diverted multi-supply vessels ‘Seamec-3’ and tugboat ‘Saroja Blessing’ away from their assigned duties towards the drifting vessel. Tugboat ‘Water Lilly’ from Directorate General Shipping also joined ONGC’s vessels.
By 10 p.m., the vessel cleared the south of the D1 field at 15 nautical miles, but was still drifting 1.5-2 nautical miles per hour,” the company statement said.
Coast Guard ship ‘Sankalp’ approached the adrift vessel by the morning of July 25 and took over as on-scene commander from ODAG vessel ‘P R Nayak’. The crew then successfully repaired the engine of MV Gas Yodla and started its emergency generator by 5:15 am on July 25. MV Garnet was then arranged by the owners for bunker support.
“Subsequent to a conversation with the Coast Guard, the captain of the vessel agreed to it being towed. The vessel was secured to DG Shipping tug Water Lilly. But as the tow line of Water Lilly snapped, ONGC deployed Sagar Pride to tow the vessel to safety on Monday.