Crew members of ITT Panther recall trauma, thank CG for rescue

Report by: 
M SURESH KUMAR
Port Blair
21 Jul 2017

Eleven crew members of cargo vessel, ITT Panther, who were rescued after the ship sank 400 km off Port Blair coast, recalled the trauma of their expedition, after arrival at the Coast Guard jetty on Friday.
Speaking to mediapersons after disembarking from Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajkamal, Captain Amitabha Mukherjee said that the cargo vessel developed a major technical snag following which it sank in the high seas. “We tried our best to rectify the fault for around two days and ultimately decided to take the ‘abandon ship’ call. The ship started sinking at around 6 am yesterday and all of us onboard boarded the life raft at around 6.30 am and sent the distress call to rescue agencies. An hour after, Dornier aircrafts of the Coast Guard located us and kept close vigilance. I told my crew members that the Coast Guard will ensure our safe return to home. Despite rough seas, the efficient  team of ICGS Rajkamal rescued all of us and provided us all comfort on board. I deeply thank the Indian Coast Guard for its immaculate planning and execution of the rescue operation in such a challenging situation,” said Captain Mukherjee.
The Commanding Officer of ICGS Rajkamal, Captain Abhijit Sangle said that the Coast Guard Station at Diglipur passed on the distress call to him through MRCC, Port Blair. Using GPS and phone locations, we spotted the location and found two life rafts with the crew members of ITT Panther. In the present turbulent weather and rough sea conditions, it was an exceptional effort of the cargo vessel crew to stay afloat. Even my team on a small class ship, excellently managed the rescue operation. The rescued crew members were provided immediate medical attention on board ICGS Rajkamal and a message was sent back to Port Blair intimating about the successful rescue operation, informed Captain Abhijit Sangle.