Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Havelock Cargo Dinghy Mishap: Search on for Missing Person

Havelock Cargo Dinghy Mishap:
Search on for Missing Person

In a mysterious incident, a cargo dinghy reportedly packed with more than 5 tonnes of cargo and two persons on board went missing between Port Blair and Havelock.

According to Mr. Jawahar, Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman, one person namely Ranjan Mondal was found at No. 19 Beach in Havelock today morning.

Despite continuous search by 3 PCR speed boats, 2 fast crafts and a Dornier of Coast Guard, there was no trace of the Dinghy or the missing person, Karak Mondal.

Jawahar also informed that as soon as the information was received, SOP was activated. Eventually, search operations were started.

Its learnt that whatever information is available is from the survivor, Ranjan Mondal, who is recuperating at PHC, Havelock.

Speaking to LOA, Vikas, SHO, PS Havelock said that a missing report has been filed and a police team with Coast Guard searched the whole area close to Neil Island and Havelock today without any result. He said that the search will continue. "We spoke to the survivor, who is admitted in PHC Havelock, and according to him, the Dinghy was carrying vegetables and other ration materials belonging to different vendors," Vikas said.

Ranjan Mondal told a source that the Dinghy had hit rock near Kalapathar area and drowned. Both the persons got hold of empty cans, but only he could reach the shore.

The Dinghy is owned by Nirmal Biswas who had shifted to plying the cargo dinghy after his vegetable business went into loss.

The vegetable market was today shut down due to the accident. Only one vegetable shop was open, which was selling potatoes at the rate of Rs 50 per kg.

Speaking to LOA, a resort owner said that death on sea due to toppling of cargo dinghies are not very uncommon between Port Blair and Havelock. "As its raining, the cargo would have been tightly secured by ropes, and the Dinghy would have hit the sea bottom when drowned," he said. "It might come up in a couple of days as the potato sacks open up," he added.

Making a comment on the precarious situation, he said that the cargo dinghies which were plying earlier have all shifted into lucrative tourism business and most of the current crop of dinghy owners are unskilled and incompetent, who don't know how to handle it.

"A disaster between Havelock and Port Blair is not something which could not be anticipated, as there are no cargo ships plying in this route and the cargo is taken by unauthorized and illegal Dinghies without any safety measures or documentation, " the Resort owner added.

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