The Fast Interceptor Boats are 16 feet long, four feet wide and weigh 15 tons. (Representational photo)
A small boat used by the Navy for harbor security sank off Chennai coast after it caught fire on Wednesday evening.
The Fast Interceptor Boat T-304, along with two similar boats, had sailed out on Wednesday evening when it suddenly caught fire. All six sailors on board were rescued by the other two boats.
The incident happened about 90 nautical miles north east of Chennai, navy sources said.
An official release said a fire broke out on board the 15.6 metre-long interceptor craft while it was on routine deployment at about 2 AM.
"The fire caused extensive damage to the Fibre-glass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) hull of the craft resulting in sinking of the boat despite all out efforts by the crew to save it. There were no casualties," it said.
An inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident, it said.
The boat, made out of fibre reinforced plastic, melted completely in the incident. It was inducted in 2013, and was one of the 67 such boats imported from Sri Lanka for the Sagar Prahari Bal, a naval police force created after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
These boats are 16 feet long, four feet wide and weigh 15 tons. They are manned by four to six sailors and do not have officers on board.
There are also no fixed gun mounts on them and carry machine guns.