1 Dead and 5 Missing after Another Tanker Runs Aground as Cyclone Slams India’s Coast

By Accidents

The terrible storm Sandy is not the only storm that causes problems for mariners this week. A powerful cyclone in India, that has been brewing in the northern Indian Ocean for days forced an oil tanker to run aground on Wednesday afternoon along India’s southeastern coast near Chennai, killing 1 crew member and causing as many as 5 others to go missing.
Heavy seas and winds up to 50 miles per hour caused the MT Pratibha Cauvery, a 28,741 DWT tanker that is owned by Mumbai-based Pratibha Shipping Company Limited, to slip anchor and drift to within 50 metres of Chennai’s Besant Nagar beach where it almost capsized in the breaking waves.
Initial information have indicated that the order was given to abandon vessel, forcing all 22 crew members onto life rafts. But the Times of India is reporting that local fisherman that has been assisting in the rescue operation were only able to bring 16 ashore. So far one body has been recovered while five others are still missing.
At this point rescue operation and recovery efforts, which includes official word on the tanker grounding, are still be hampered by the severe weather that is expected to continue through at least Wednesday night.