Drifting ship during South West monsoon months off Indian Coast

Casualty Circular No. 18 of 2009






 NO:11-NT(54)/2008                                                                        Dated: 04.08.2009


Subject: Drifting ship during South West monsoon months off Indian Coast



A General Cargo vessel, flag - foreign, age - 24 years old, GRT- 13557, sailed out from an Indian port towards Gulf of Kuchh with cargo of 8480 t. sulphur in jumbo bags on 16.6.2008 at 1555 hrs. The weather prevailing at that time was stable, visibility was good. The prevailing current was setting in North-East direction with drift of 1.5 knots. At 2145 hrs. on 16.6.08., approximately two miles from the west coast of India (within the proximity of Offshore Development Area), the temperature of No.2 unit of auxiliary engine went very high and the main engine were therefore, stopped after changing over fuel from heavy oil to diesel oil. The Master of the vessel dropped her anchor at 2230 hrs on 16.6.08 to carry out repairs. On 17.6.08 at 1800 hrs., the auxiliary engines was started and it was observed that the bearing of this auxiliary engine needed to be renewed. At the request of the Master, the vessel was towed to the nearest port on the west cost of India.



The Port State Control Authorities conducted the inspection upon arrival. The inspection report revealed following serious deficiencies :


1)  Auxiliary engines 1 & 3 were not operational.

2) Gyro Compass was not operational.

3) Flag State endorsement on the Certificate of Competency for all officers were not available.

4) Oily bilge water separator was not functional.




  • The Master of all vessels, specially old vessels, should make sure that prior to departure from any Indian port the operational state of all machineries and navigational equipments should be checked.
  • The Master should not hesitate in using his discretionary authority stipulated in SOLAS chapter 5, Regulation 34-1 from taking and executing any decision which in his professional judgment is necessary for safety of life at sea and protection of Marine environment.
  • The Master of all ships should participate in the prevailing Ship Reporting System for the assigned SAR Regions.
  • The shipowner/Master should make sure that the vessel in disabled state is taken to the nearest port of refuge by using the salvage services of competent salvage companies.
  • The shipowner/Master of all ships should notify the deficiencies leading to in operational state at sea to D.G. Communication centre immediately.
  • The shipowner/Master of all ships should adhere to the Monsoon Advisory issued by the Director General of Shipping vide its M.S. Notice No.18 of 2009 dated 09.04.2009.



(Capt. Deepak Kapoor)
Nautical Surveyor-cum-DDG (Tech)

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