Mumbai, Jun 1: Azeem Juvale (29) died while trying to save his colleagues in the high seas off the coast of Karwar, Karnataka, on Tuesday.
His cargo ship hit rocks after it was swept away from its anchorage by gusty winds and tidal waves. Water entered the engine room, making evacuation necessary for the 21 crew members.
Azeem Juvale and Sajida Juvale
The Nerul-resident, a second officer on the cargo vessel MV Ocean Seraya, immediately took action and lowered lifeboats and ladders from the ship.
That was when disaster struck. The ship was three nautical miles (5.5 km) from Karwar, when Juvale went down the ladder to hold it steady. But he lost his balance and was swept away by the eight-foot-high waves.
Minutes before the incident, Juvale spoke to his wife Sajeda (27), for the last time. “I will save them, but keep calling me,” he said.
Recalled Sajeda, “He told me about the stormy weather, but throughout our conversation, he was confident he would save all his colleagues.”
Keshav K, general manager (shipping) of the company, said, “There were eight-metre-high waves in the sea. The condition was very dangerous.” Juvale had been working for the Singapore-based company, Executive Shipping, since two years.
Juvale never saw his three-month-old baby as he has been sailing ever since his wife gave birth.
Sajeda’s father Patankar said, “On Monday, Azeem and Sajeda chatted for one-and-a-half hours on the phone. I had said then, ‘zindagi bhar ki baate aaj hi kar loge kya’. And the next day, he went missing.”
The Coast Guard has launched a massive search operation for Juvale.
Meanwhile, all Juvale’s colleagues were airlifted in a Chetak helicopter and taken to Karwar on Tuesday.
Daijiworld's earlier reports: