Mangalore: Panic gripped the crew of a cargo ship after one of its containers loaded with chemicals caught fire about 50 nautical miles off Mangalore on Saturday, but none was hurt in the incident, Coast Guard authorities said.
Liberia flagged "MV Cap Norte" was on its away to Mundra with 24 crew members on board when the fire broke out, following which the vessel`s captain sent a distress message to Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Mumbai seeking help.
Immediately after receiving the message, Coast Guard Fast Patrol vessel ICGS Savitribai Phule sailed off to render assistance and reached the area around 1 pm, the Coast Guard said in a release issued here.
The merchant vessel was carrying about 15 tons of chemical polyamide sulphide.
The ship crew extinguished the fire themselves and at present the situation was under control, the release said.
"All persons onboard are safe. Fire was observed only in cargo containers", it said.
Boundary cooling of affected container is in progress and smoke reducing steadily, it said and added that ICGS Savitribai Phule is in constant communication with the affected ship and maintaining close proximity with the vessel to provide immediate assistance.
Of the 24 crew members, two belonged to Greece, five to The Philliphines 5, three from Poland, one each from Germany and UK and 12 from Tuvalu.