Naval destroyer INS Rana rescues merchant vessel

The Navy just sent this in: Responding speedily to the request from a distressed vessel MV Nazish, INS Rana effected a rendezvous with the stricken vessel and towed it to safety over a gruelling three-day ordeal that ended at 2000h on Saturday, 02 Aug 08.

MV Nazish, flying the Indian flag had left Kolkota for Port Blair earlier on 24 Jul 08. The 3500 ton ship was about six hundred miles due east of Visakhapatnam on 29 Jul 08 when it sought assistance. It had lost all propulsion owing to a technical problem in the Engines and was drifting towards Myanmar under the effect of winds and heavy seas.

On receiving the request, INS Rana, a frontline destroyer of the Eastern Fleet, while on deployment in the Bay of Bengal, was directed to render necessary assistance, rescue the crew and tow the ship to Port Blair. Despite unfavourable weather and rough seas, INS Rana covered the distance in 27 hours. A Naval Team of one officer and seven sailors had embarked the distressed ship by first light on 31 Jul 08. Non-availability of towing gear with the Merchant vessel and its incompatible deck fittings posed serious difficulties. Once these were overcome through innovation and enterprise, the towing operation itself proved challenging, owing to rough seas, a heavily laden ship and severe chaffing of the tow rope due to friction. It took all the seamanship skills of the determined team to ensure that the ship was successfully towed for over 370 nm to the safety of Port Blair harbour.

The master Captain KV Raman, the twelve member crew, as also the owners of MV Nazish were profoundly grateful to the Captain, officers and the men of INS Rana for their gallant rescue effort in rough seas that saved the ship and her crew from impending danger.

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