Off Mumbai's Coast: NDTV has access to the exclusive visuals of the rescue operations on the MSC Chitra, 23 minutes after it collided with another ship MV Khalijia on Saturday. Rescue workers arrived on a red boat onto the tilting ship.
At the time of the collision, a private tugboat, Vamsee III, was escorting Khalijia into the Mumbai Port. Its crew and captain, among the few eyewitnesses, rushed to the tilting ship.
''We could see an accident was going to happen. There was nothing done to prevent it. A few thousand tonnes of water must have entered MSC Chitra. The sea was very rough. When we saw women and children on board, there was no time to think," said R K Hukku, Captain of Vamsee III.
Over the next 25 minutes, these men, would rescue all 33 people on board.
The crew members of Vamsee III are the unsung heroes of this rescue operation. In trying circumstances, with fear, without panic they did their duty with one objective in mind: At whatever cost, save lives.
But how did the two ships collide mid-sea especially with a Vessel Traffic Management System in place?
Hukku says, "I suspect there was a steering failure in MV Khalijia. It continued to turn even after seeing MSC Chitra."
The probe will continue, for which these visuals, piece together a part of the puzzle.
Also, in the day, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that, "The polluter must pay for clean up."
Talking about the high cleanup costs incurred, Jairam added that, "There is always room for improvement. We could have better equipment, better salvage operations."
Story first published:
August 14, 2010 08:45 IST