Search on for six missing sailors, probe ordered



Chennai: Efforts continued Thursday to trace six missing sailors of an oil tanker that ran aground off a city beach even as 15 of their colleagues were rescued and a probe by the DG Shipping was ordered into the incident.

Coast Guard ships along with two helicopters are searching for the sailors who went missing yesterday after their life boat capsized in choppy waters hours before cyclone Nilam made the landfall at Mahabalipuram, about 55 km from here, Coast Guard Deputy Inspector General Kurdeep Singh said.

Fifteen other crew members of 'Pratibha Cauvery', who remained onboard the vessel after it drifted in high velocity winds and ran aground off Besant Nagar, were rescued early this morning, Chennai Port Trust Officials said.

One sailor drowned while 15 others were rescued by local fishermen last evening after the vessel with 37 crew on board ran aground near Elliott's Beach, 200 metres from the shore.

Singh said Coast Guard vessels "Varuna" and "Rajshri" were involved in the rescue operations.

After overseeing the rescue efforts, Chennai Port Trust Chairman Atulya Mishra said, "The DG Shipping will conduct an investigation into this (the incident)."

The ship was asked to move to the high sea on October 30 as a precautionary measure in view of the cyclone, which was to cross the north Tamil Nadu coast, he told reporters.

Mishra said when the ship was trying to move it faced some problems as it lost the anchor.

PTI