Port Blair, Jan. 31: A Panama flagged Merchant Tanker, Aspam Samrat whilst on voyage from Malaysia to UAE, diverted to Port Blair when two crew members reportedly died during an evolution on 22 Jan 13.  The ship’s crew managed to successfully remove one of  the dead sailors, but the body of Chief Officer, Mr Avinash Patwal, could not be removed from the ballast tank deep in the ship below her main tanks. The ship arrived Port Blair on 25th Jan 13 for assistance to recover the body.

On 26th Jan 13, the A & N Administration sought assistance from the Andaman & Nicobar Command to retrieve the body from the ship.  A team of three officers and 15 sailors and one Defence Civilian of the Indian Navy were deputed to retrieve the body. Considering the presence of toxic gases and confined space of the tank, in a challenging mission the team rose to the occasion to execute the task in an extremely professional manner.   The body was removed after nearly two days of systematic work and through selfless commitment.

Every person witnessing the evacuation operation was deeply touched by the courage, spirit and sensibility of the team. The ship’s crew and relatives of the deceased officer expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards the empathy and compassion displayed by the men in uniform.