Mumbai, Jul 26 (IANS): In a joint operation, the ONGC Ltd and Indian Coast Guard averted a possible catastrophe after an empty gas tanker of Dubai was seen drifting dangerously towards the sensitive Mumbai High Field following an engine failure, around 175 km off Mumbai, officials said.
The combined action lasting more than 36 hours finally resulted in the tanker -- 'MV Gas Yodla', which was on a voyage from Bangladesh to the UAE -- being towed away to safety on Monday.
The troubles struck MV Gas Yodla, owned by Sheild Marine, Dubai, on Saturday evening following an engine failure due to which it started drifting in the high seas, around 37 km from ONGC's D1 field.
At that time, the tanker had a crew of 17, including 8 Indians and 9 Ukrainians, and it sent out a distress call to the Offshore Defence Advisory Group in Mumbai.
In response, the ONGC immediately sent its offshore supply vessel 'Sagar Pride', divtered a multi-supply vessel 'Seamec-3' and tugboat 'Saroja Blessing', while the ODAG Mumbai mobilised its vessel 'P.R. Nayak', while another tugboat 'Water Lily' joined later, to help out MV Gas Yodla.
The path of the vessel was closely monitored and by 10 pm on Saturday night, it was around 28 km from the D1 field, drifting at a pace of around 3.4 km/hour, even as all the agencies made attempts to ensure it remained at a safe distance from the Mumbai High Field.
Subsequently, on Sunday morning, Indian Coast Guard vessel 'Sankalp' reached the spot, and the crew of the distressed ship managed to repair the engine, and restarted its emergency generator, even as the vessel's owners arranged another vessel, 'MV Garnet', for bunker support.
The Master of MV Gas Yodla agreed to the vessel being towed by ONGC's Sagar Pride, which managed to sail it to safety early on Monday.
"The efforts succeeded in assisting the distressed vessel and also helped keep it away from ONGC's operational areas," said the company's spokesperson after the ordeal ended on Monday.