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Manx Super-Tanker Rescues 15. 30 July 2004

On Saturday 24th July 2004, the Isle of Man registered super-tanker "British Pride" successfully rescued 15 survivors from the badly damaged chemical tanker "Setia Java" in the India Ocean.

An explosion and fire in the engine room of the Setia Java, had disabled the vessel and left her drifting in the Indian Ocean without means of communication. Some four days after the explosion the survivors managed to alert shore authorities of their plight using the ship's emergency beacon. The Marine Rescue Centre at Chennai in India broadcast a call for any ships in the area to assist. The Manx registered super-tanker "British Pride" altered course for the distress position and after a search in the area, located the stricken "Setia Java".

Despite difficult weather conditions of force six winds, rough seas and a four metre swell, the Master of the "British Pride" successfully manoeuvred his very large ship close to the liferaft in which the survivors from "Setia Java" had abandoned their ship and succeeded in rescuing all 15 survivors. Six other crew members aboard "Setia Java" were apparently lost in the explosion and fire before the rescue.

Captain Chris Moss, his officers and crew of the British Pride demonstrated immense skill in rescuing all the survivors from the liferaft to their huge vessel in very difficult sea conditions. "British Pride" is over 320 metres in length and has a deadweight tonnage of over 300,000 tonnes.

Minister for the DTI, the Hon Alex Downie, said:

"This is first class reflection on the quality of the Manx fleet. It takes immense skill to manoeuvre these huge ships at the best of times. To do it with sufficient precision to recover 15 men safely from a tiny liferaft in rough seas demonstrates a level of skill and seamanship that is to be commended."

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