TSUNAMI EFFECT – WHARF BROKE DOWN AND SANK – SHIP HAD TO CAST OFF WITHOUT MASTER AND SEAMEN:
ON 26TH December, 2004, the ship ( a passenger fast ferry service) was to sail at 0715 hrs, from Port Blair to Hawlock and Neel Island.Passengers started embarking on board slowly.
C/E and 2/E were in the engine room and tried out the engines. Master had gone out for walk.Around 0630 hrs, there was big jerk, sound and vibration on the entire length of ship. The engineers came out of ER and found the wharf broken into half, and one half already submerged and other half slowly submerging.
Some of the people also went in water with their bikes, jeep etc. With heaving lines they could be saved. Meanwhile chief officer requested that without master, the ship had to cast off to avoid disaster.Seamen were found missing as they had already gone ashore to take care of their homes, (most of the seamen are from local area).
C/E ,2/E, C/O, oil men, 5/E formed different mooring parties and the ship was cast off and went into sea.The ship was drifting in the sea with the part crew and the passengers. Around 1500 hrs, when the weather became calm, port authorities called the ship back to another wharf and the ship was taken and the passengers were handed over safely.