Vishva Shanti

IMO Number5538238
Call signVMQK
Cargo5 holds, steel profiles, black pepper, jute and rosin
BuilderHindustan Shipyard Ltd., Visakhapatnam, India
OwnerThe Shipping Corporation of India, Bombay
Sink dateMarch 1, 1968
Sink reasonRun aground in heavy weather
Survivorsprobably all (nevertheless, there is an indications that a crew member was lost, according to the file 130/1968 from the Capitania Portului Constanta file in the National Archives Constanta)
CoordinatesN44 09.220 E028 40.334

The vessel was built by the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., Visakhapatnam, India, as yard number VC149. The keel was laid on September 29, 1960. The ship was launched on January 25, 1961, and delivered on September 14, 1962 to The Shipping Corporation of India, for which it sailed, under the Indian flag. It was powered by a 8100 Bhp M.A.N. 2SA 9 cyl 780×1400 oil engine, manufactured by Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, Germany, providing a maximum speed of 17 knots.

On the night of February 29, 1968, Vishva Shanti was travelling to Constanta, with a cargo of steel profiles, black pepper, jute, and rosin, in heavy seas (wind force 8-9 Bft) and blizzard. During that night, the waves were big enough to run over the harbour's north breakwater.

The captain was using an old map to navigate, from which the newly built north breakwater was missing. When the ship's watch observed the green light of the breakwater's lighthouse, they took it for a buoy, and continued to sail towards it. When the crew finally saw the breakwater through the storm, they were already at just 300 meters from it. At that moment, the watch officer had tried to reverse the ship engine, but, by mistake, he moved the telegraph from ahead half to ahead full instead of astern full. The crew in the engine room executed the order, pushing the vessel at full speed into the breakwater. After the bow hit the rocks, the officer managed to correct his mistake and moved the telegraph into astern full. The engine was unable to pull the ship from the rocks, and the waves rotated the immobilized vessel, until the port side touched the breakwater. After half an hour, the water started to enter the ship, halting the engines and shutting down the ship lights.

The vessel sent an S.O.S. signal, which was received by the Harbour Master, and a truck was sent on the breakwater to the ship's position. A rope was stretched between the truck and the ship, and the crew was rescued one by one. The ship was heavily damaged by the repeated contact with the rocks, with cracks in the deck and port side plates, heeling 17 degrees to starboard, and in the end, it sunk.

During the negotiation between The Shipping Corporation of India and the Constanta Harbour, the owner abandoned any claims on the property of the vessel. The transfer of property was signed on March 30, 1968, by B.C. Chaturvedi, authorised by the Indian Embassy, and Nicolae Zeicu (director), and Gheorghe Stefanescu (chief accountant), from Direcţia de Navigatie Maritima “Navrom” Constanta.

From the rear part of the ship, which was salvaged (from the stern to the front of the command castle), together with a bow built at the Galati Shipyard, the Constanta Shipyard assembled a new vessel, called Vrancea (12407 tdw, length 151.6m, breadth 19.5m, IMO 5382386).

A mention of the sinking appeared in the volume 3, no. 40 (Oct. 5, 1968) of the Economic and Political Weekly newspaper, in a report about the activity of The Shipping Corporation of India, written by C.P. Srivastava.

The wreck was discovered by Harry Bakker on February 10, 2007.

The only part of the ship still remaining underwater is the bow part, together with the front holds (the rest of the vessel had been salvaged), sitting at a depth of 12 meters.

A sonar scan made by Mircea Popa reveals the large pieces of wreck still remaining underwater after the stern part was recovered.

  • wrecks/vishvashanti.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/11/13 15:06
  • by Admin