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2014 Andaman boat disaster

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2014 Andaman boat disaster

2014 Andaman Boat Disaster
Date January 26, 2014 (2014-01-26)
Location "Aqua Marine" (tourist boat),
near Port Blair, India
Cause Overloading
Participants Crew and 45 passengers
Outcome Boat capsized
Deaths 22[1]

2014 Andaman boat disaster was an incident which occurred on 26 January 2014, when a tourist boat capsized near Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar islands, India, killing 22 people.[1] The boat "Aqua Marine" was carrying 45 tourists from Tamil Nadu and Mumbai.

Accident

The boat "Aqua Marine" was carrying 45 tourists from India from Ross Islands to North Bay when it sank and at least 21 people lost their lives.[2] The capacity of the boat was 25 and over loading of the boat resulted in the tragedy.[2] The boat sank at a distance of about 25 k.m from the short of Port Blair and majority of the tourists were from Tamil Nadu.[3] The administration of the Island group was busy with Republic Day of India and learnt the news at 4.30 p.m. on 26 January 2014.[3] More than 29 people were rescued by district administration while one was still missing. Rescued were admitted to G B Pant hospital. The boat had no life jackets and there were no divers on board.[4]

Reports say that two months before this Accident, a tourist wrote a letter to the union tourism ministry about the lack of safety standards in Andaman islands’ tourism circuit.[5]

Aftermath

Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration announced a 100,000 Indian Rupee ex-gratia payment to the family of the deceased tourists.[2] India's then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa expressed their grief over the accident, while Jayalalithaa also announced a compensation of 100,000 Indian Rupees each to the families of dead.[6] Owner of the boat and two others were detained by the law enforcing agencies for enquiry.[4]

Currently all the boat operations (except the 3-4 main ferries between Havelock and Portblair) are stopped in entire Andaman and Nicobar island. As a result tourist activities have been badly hit across the islands. Popular tourist places like Ross island, Baratang limestone caves, Scuba diving by motor boats are suspended till further notice. The administration is currently verifying every means of water transport and safety audit is underway. As per local sources it may take another month or so for the complete resumption of services. Till then the tourists are advised to check and revisit their earlier planned itineraries for changes if any.

References

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