A total of 18 cargo barge crewmembers were rescued after their vessel capsized and sank in bad weather in the Bay of Bengal off the Indian port of Kakinada on Sunday, February 9.
The non-self-propelled vessel, which was owned by a local export company, had been loaded with 600 tonnes of rice and was being towed to a waiting bulk carrier anchored off the port when strong waves caused it to keel over and sink four kilometres from shore at around 05:00 local time.
All 18 of the barge’s crew were rescued without injury. Further, salvage operations have begun on the sunken vessel, which had ended up at a depth of 15 metres.
The total cargo loss has been estimated at Rs 1.2 crore (US$168,000).
The barge was ferrying the rice to the Montenegro-flagged bulk carrier Bar (pictured), which was supposed to transport the cargo to Senegal.
Local police and port officials have launched an investigation into the incident.
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