Mumbai/Nagpur: Nineteen members of the crew of a merchant vessel in distress in waters off the Mumbai coast were airlifted to safety during a daring rescue mission by an Indian Navy helicopter.
The merchant vessel Jindal Kamakshi had 20 people on board. All but one of them were picked up by the Sea King helicopter deployed by the navy after it received a distress message from the ship late on Sunday night.
Another helicopter was sent out to sea on Monday morning to bring in the vessel’s master, who had remained on board
In a distress message sent late on Sunday night, the vessel’s crew had informed authorities about “extremely bad weather” and said the ship was listing to one side.
“Information was received around midnight by the Indian Navy that a vessel in distress, Jindal Kamakshi, which was 40 nautical miles from Mumbai harbour and 25 nautical miles off the Vasai coast, had listed heavily,” a defence ministry spokesperson said.
“The distress message said the vessel listed heavily with 20 persons on board and requested assistance,” the spokesperson said.
The navy then deployed a Sea King helicopter and a ship for the rescue mission. The spokesperson said the merchant vessel had “counter ballasted” or flooded a tank to improve its stability.