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Friday, May 3, 2013

collision at sea near Thiruvottiyur, Chennai - 3 fishermen rescued


There is lawless on the road, people drive mad ~ there are auto rickshaws and 2 wheelers zig-zagging their course.. sometimes they brush your cause deep dent and scratches…….and whizz away with gay abandon……….. they teach you the philosophy of disassociating yourself – never feel for material things.. they do happen.. your car might get damaged… so also of many others….

Heard of ‘collision’ - the act of colliding; a coming violently into contact; crash. A collision is an isolated event in which two or more bodies (colliding bodies) exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short time. Collisions involve forces and there is a change in velocity. In traffic such a collision can be between two vehicles, a vehicle and a person, a vehicle and an object, two persons or a person and an object (and more if an animal is involved). It is an accident or even a disaster.

You see so many accidents on road, and when you sit in beach enjoying the breeze and waves of the Sea, you tend to think that in the serene atmosphere – accidents are unlikely…… no, there are collision at sea and there are near misses too…  depending upon the size and speed, damage occurs and sometimes fatal too.

The International Maritime Organization(IMO) has set out the navigation rules to be followed by the ships ~ the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972. Although rules for navigating vessels inland may differ, the international rules specify that they should be as closely in line with the international rules as possible. There are well codified rules and laws, still collisions do occur.

I have posted about some collision at sea ~ the one in Aug 2010 involving the container carrier MSC Chitra and  MV Khalijia-III – 8 kms closer to Mumbai shore. There was the ‘hit and run’ accident at Sea involving a bulk carrier M.V. Prabhu Daya. In Mar 2013, was the accident involving   Antigua Barbuda [AG] flagged General cargo carrier MV Grietje  colliding with the small fibre reinforced plastic boat cutting it into half and killing a person.

On Wednesday evening [1st May 2013] 3 fishermen had a miraculous escape when their boat was hit by a cargo vessel about 10km off Thiruvottiyur. TOI reports that M Sundaram, 40, T Ezhumalai 38, and S Baskar 28, of KVK Kuppam in Thiruvottiyur were seen struggling in the sea by other fishermen and brought to the shore. Baskar sustained minor bruises on his hands and legs, police said. The three had put out to sea in the evening and their boat was struck around 11pm.  Police quoted the fishermen as saying the boat was smashed to pieces. After the ship hit and broke the boat, they were clinging on to a broken part of the boat when two other fishermen, Suresh and Kuppan, heard their cries, came to the spot and rescued them.

The Harbour Asst Commissioner of Police  S Radhakrishnan is quoted stating that they will seek the help of Chennai port authorities in getting a list of all vessels that passed the spot at the time and trace the vessel that was involved in the accident. 

The Hindu reports that the fishermen on a small fibre boat were waiting for the clock to strike 1, so they could reel in the vanjram fish net that they had cast at 6 p.m. “The red signal light on our fibre-reinforced plastic boat was working well, so we were not worried. The three of us were talking about the catch of the past few days, when suddenly a ship loomed over us. It hit our boat from behind, and instantly the boat broke,” the fisherman is quoted as saying.   At that point, the boat was 11 km from the shore, at a depth of about 16 fathoms.
-the signal light – photo courtesy – the Hindu.

Fortunately, there has been no loss of life, though the fishermen have lost property heavily. It is reported that the injured fishermen have registered a police complaint against an unnamed ship.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd May 2013.

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