The Indian Coast Guard had initiated a series of pre-emptive and proactive measures in wake of Cyclone 'Gaja' wherein the Coast Guard ships and aircraft were on patrol since November 9, 2018 to safeguard precious lives at sea and rescue any stranded Fishing boat to safety. No sooner than the patrol efforts have been terminated on November 17, 2018, that the Coast Guard units were pressed into immediate action as first responder to an oil spill incident that took place during the early hours of November 18, 2018 wherein the discharge hose of Motor Tanker Coral Stars discharging Furnace Fuel Oil FFO (thick oil) at MLT berth of Kamarajar Port, Ennore, suddenly ruptured and caused an accidental spill of about two tons of FFO.
Coast Guard interceptor boat and helicopter were launched to assess the extent of oil spill. Subsequently, two Coast Guard Fast Patrol Vessels with Pollution Response equipment embarked onboard were deployed from Chennai for combating the spill. Senior officials from CG Pollution Response Team (East), Chennai were deputed to Ennore Port for onsite assessment and guidance to port authorities for use of appropriate spill response strategy whilst actively coordinating Pollution Response Operations through the day.
Dedicated Coast Guard Pollution Control Vessel ICGS Samudra Paheredar was mobilised from Visakhapatnam to further augment the PR efforts.
Timely efforts by Indian Coast Guard resulted in effective containment of the spilled oil and preventing a major environmental hazard.