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Boat sinking: 20+ dead in Bay of Bengal tourist boat accident

4 years ago90 views

Originally published on January 27, 2014

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At least 21 tourists were killed when a private tourist boat capsized at around 4:00 p.m. in the sea off Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday (January 26), according to The Hindu.

R. Gajendra Kumar, one of the survivors of the accident and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Police Training College), Chennai said the boat was far in excess of capacity, and passengers aboard the "Aqua Marine" asked for life jackets, but were told security measures were in place and that they needn't worry.

The boat, carrying passengers who were mostly from Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, was traveling to North Bay and Ross Island at the time of the accident. The vessel was carrying 46 passengers and three crew members.

"We could even see a defence vessel and other ships anchored along the harbour ... as I almost lost hope a boat operator came and dropped some life jackets. Some private divers rescued us," Kumar said. According to Kumar, more would have survived if life jackets been given or help had come sooner.

Inspector-General of Coast Guard and Regional Commander (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) V.S.R. Murthy confirmed that 21 people died died in the accident, while 27 others were rescued. One person remained missing.

"In less than an hour, we launched a helicopter and vessels to rescue the victims. We were able to pull out some from the sea and shift them to the hospital. It has been confirmed that 21 were brought dead and 11 were undergoing treatment," Murthy said.

It is not known what caused the the boat to capsize, but the weather was normal at the time of the accident, according to Murthy.

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