Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Indian sailing cargo vessel's crew rescued by the French

by Nancy Knudsen on 27 Nov 2011
Typical Indian cargo sailing vessel - file photo .. .
It takes a rescue on the high seas to be reminded that sailing vessels are not only used as recreational vessels in today's world. While the shipping industry is desperately trying new technology in the form of kites and rigid sails that will allow modern ships to use the wind to cut down their carbon emissions, there are traditional sailing ships that have never stopped carrying cargo.

A French container ship, CMA CGM Otello, has rescued 11 Indian sailors from a sailing vessel carrying a cargo of fruit and vegetables which sank 20nm off the coast of Vizhinjam in India early on Saturday.

At around 6.50 a.m., the Indian Coast Guard Service's Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Mumbai received a message from the captain of the French ship that he had spotted an Indian 'wooden sailing boat with 11 'fishermen' on board capsized and drifting 90 nautical miles west of Thiruvananthapuram.'

On the MRCC's request the French ship rescued the sailors. The sailing vessel, Ave Maria, had set sail from Tuthukudi in Tamil Nadu on November 23. it was not a fishing vessel, but a cargo vessel carrying vegetables and fruits to the Republic of Maldives, which is perennially short of vegetables and fruit because of their sandy soil.

At around 4.30 a.m. on Saturday, the mast of the vessel broke and fell on its deck. Immediately, water flooded its hull and the ship, having a total displacement of four tonnes, started sinking.


The situation for the sailors became life threatening and the ship's captain activated the vessel's EPIRB. The Coast Guard men at the Operations Room of the Search and Rescue Centre of the ICGS in Kochi picked up the signal immediately.

They ordered one of its water jet propelled fast interceptor boats anchored at Vizhinjam to the rescue. The armed vessel, C-134, set out to sea with seven men onboard.

A Coast Guard official said the sea was rough and it was raining heavily.

'The visibility was almost zero and our vessel was rolling and pitching harshly. The wind was very strong. It was almost like heading into the eye of a cyclone,' he said.

They finally homed in on the French ship and transferred the rescued sailors to their boat. A police officer, who spoke to the rescued men, said the French ship had found Ave Maria almost submerged. The sailors had latched themselves to lifebuoys to remain afloat in the cold and choppy waters. Some of them were clutching on to the sides of the sinking ship.

The French seamen had lowered lifeboats and rowed to the sinking ship. They threw the men ropes attached to hooks, which the sailors hitched to their lifebuoys. One by one, the French seamen pulled the men on board their boats.

The Coast Guard issued the sailors warm clothes, served them heated meals and recorded their statements. It later handed over them to the State police.

In a quirky ending to the story, a police officer said the rescued men required immigration clearance to enter mainland India because they had boarded a foreign vessel. Maybe it could only happen in India!

Colligo Marine 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun