At least 15 people were rescued after Ark Deck Bar, one of the three floatels operational in the city, capsized near the Bandra-Worli sealink on Friday. The incident did not lead to any loss of life.
The floatel, a nearly 50-year-old fishing trawler converted into a resto-bar, was parked off the Bandra coastline when the incident took place today afternoon. Incidentally, today was its last functioning day ahead of the scheduled monsoon hiatus.
According to preliminary information, the boat capsized after hitting a rock, which caused a hole in the hull.
“The boat likely hit a big rock, which caused a hole in the hull. After water started entering, the vessel tilted and subsequently, around 13 crew members inside called another boat and were rescued and are safe,” Vikram Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of the Maharashtra Maritime Board was quoted as saying.
“Whether it was a mishap or lack of maintenance will be revealed after an investigation. Meanwhile, divers have been called into help find the exact reason behind the incident,” Kumar added.
According to one report, the owners had allegedly delayed hull repairs to keep the floatel operational till the last party of the season. The allegations, however, could not be independently confirmed.
The floatel was going to be taken to Bhaucha Dhakka for anchoring during the monsoon season after tonight’s party.
“At around 6.15 pm there was a storm in the seas. Due to this the anchor detached and shifted on one side. Due to shifting of weight the boat began to tilt. The captain had gauged the severity beforehand and cleared the boat. There were 15 people who were rescued. The boat capsized at around 7.10pm,” an Ark Deck Bar spokesperson said.
Vikrant Chandwadkar, who co-owns the Ark Deck also told a leading daily that the floatel hit a rock as the seas were rough. The owners will begin insurance formalities tomorrow.
Sunil Davane, Assistant Police Inspector with the Coastal Police, stated that the floatel had started capsizing around 2:30 pm and that it could not be saved as large quantities of water continued to gush through the hole.
No criminal case is being registered in the matter, he added.
Surprisingly, Mumbai Fire Brigade only received a call at around 6:20pm and Coast Guard did not receive any SOS about the incident.
Vivekanand Gupta, General Secretary of Mumbai unit of the BJP alleged that the floating restaurant was a fishing trawler illegally converted into a party vessel.
“It was a fishing trawler illegally converted into party yacht Avior operated by Ocean Blue at Gateway of India. It later shifted to Bandra Worli sealink after it was renamed as Ark Deck Bar,” Gupta said.
He demanded that police arrest those operating the floating hotel.
Many netizens also took to social media to raise concerns about the safety of such floating hotels.
Apart from Ark Deck, AB Celestial and Mumbai Maiden ships are the other boats parked in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai.
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— Arkdeckbar (@arkdeckbar) May 25, 2018