Newsletter September 2013

Rescuing of 73 personnel from a distress fishing vessel by Fairchem Sabre

Dear Captain Devakinandan, Master of the MT FAIRCHEM SABRE,
This is to thank you and your crew for the job Well Don The MRCC Colombo extends its gratitude for responding to our request to search & assist the Fishing Vessel SAVINPUTHA  which carried 73 illegal migrants onboard and who would have been marooned out at sea if you had not responded positively.
MRCC Colombo acknowledges it is a costly affair both in time and finance to divert from the assigned task yet, you & your company had acted in the manner that of true sea farer.
Your company should be proud of you & your crew for rescuing these personnel despite unfavourable  sea conditions.
The Sri Lankan Naval vessel SAMUDURA on its way to rendezvous the MT FAIRCHEM SABRE & will keep you advised of its position.
Request intimate your Position , Course & Speed at every two hours to this centre to coordinate the Rendezvous please.
Once again Thank You sir,
With best regards,

Article by 3/0 Kaimal Anand


It all started with a buzzer alarm that came from the Sat-C equipment which has given a huge impact on every Sabrian’s life and an unforgettable memory that will last forever. This alarm directed us to those lives who were at the mercy of mother nature.
A fishing vessel with 73 illegal immigrants on board left the coast of srilanka hoping to settle down in Australia. Little they knew about the consequences of being left alone in open water if something terrible happens. So it was their bad day that their engines went for a big toss and they were left paralised, disabled and drifting without any direction.
When fortune ceases to smile upon us, everything seems so unreal and unjust. But it was not so bad for them as we were there for them to render assistance. Honestly speaking, all it took was just 11 minutes for the master to decide upon those 73 lives, and these 11 minutes changed their lives forever. All 73 illegal immigrants were rescued, provided water to the thirsty, food to kill their hunger, shelter and space for them to unwind and relax. And finally handed them in safe hands.
Oh God, what an experience. We all are happy and content after seeing a smiling curve on their faces. This is so close to Godliness.
We could’nt muster courage to ask what they went through but it was quite apparent from their condition and thats what made us extend
our helping hands to them and it was our pleasure. Hope our hosipitality was upto the mark.
Sometimes my neighbours ask me, what do you guys do on ship?…
I Believe  now I can put a pause to all their queries…
ITS not only navigating, and taking  cargo from ‘a’ to ‘b but also saving lifes at sea…

Article by C/E Pranab Sarkar


In choppy seas and strong winds, the Fairchem Sabre was heading towards its destination after disembarking the security guards at Galle.
A distress message was recieved by our vigilant 3rd officer Anand on 23rd night and the master was promptly intimated. Being a true seafarer, the master took the decision for search and rescue operation.
At dawn our ship staff was on a constant lookout for any signs of life. A tussle was going on in everyone’s head and hearts regarding the fate of the people in the turbulent sea condition. Being true professionals, our head always rules over our heart but in this case we wanted our heart to win as it favoured the survival of 73 innocent lives at the mercy of an unforgiving sea.
Watch keepers were unable to trace any signs of life at the location given by the Sri-Lankan naval vessel. Around 10:30 hours our disheartened master decided to call off the rescue operation and head towards our destination on the advice of the Sri-Lankan
naval vessel.
The moment the helm was given to head to our normal course the satellite phone rang, Sri-Lankan navy again advised us to carry out the search operation in the latest known position.
SAR operation commenced, once again the Sabrian eye went on for a lookout.
First ray of hope struck when 2nd officer sighted a spec on Radar at 1230hrs. Within a couple of minutes 2 fishing vessels were visually sighted. Sabre started proceeding towards the fishing vessels. One of the fishing vessel was not under command due to an engine failure and the sea was taking a toll on her. With great difficulty and expertise, our staff made fast the boat and transferred the people from the fishing boat. There were 73 immigrants (46 Men, 10 Women and 17 Kids) who in search for a new life had left Sri Lanka hoping to reach Australian shores, little did they know that their search for a new life would end up in a struggle to survive.


Rescue operation by MV DARYA LOK

Dear Sir,
With reference to our communications short while ago, please be advised that we are heading for 10 miles north of Pandan to disembark the survivors.
Brief recap of events as follows;
13th August 2013 (Local times):
0702 lookout spotted one fishing boat capsized, adrift and partially sunk on port bow about 2 miles. Three persons on board were waving hands and attracting attention of ship. Posn 14 32.18N / 124 05.56E
0703 Master informed. V/l proceeded closer to check situation.
0712 Bicol MRSC contacted. Informed them of survivors in water , capsized fishing boat.Position relayed. Advised MRSC of intention to pickup survivors. MRSC advised to call back after survivors on board.
0705 – 0725 Vessel / crew prepared to pick up survivors. Ladders, gangway nets rigged on port side.
0715 – 0725 Vessel maneuvered to approach survivors safely.
0725 Survivors jumped into water from their boat. Vessel slowly brought alongside.
0731 Lifebuoys thrown in water. Each of them directed towards ladder.
0732 1st survivor on board
0733 2nd survivor on board 3rd survivor on board provided clothing etc food to 3 survivors.
0755 Names of survivors as follows:
1. Romal do Trinidad Jr Age 34yrs
2. Rolando Trinidad Age 44 yrs
3. Nestor Lopez Age -59 yrs
All three are from Pandan, Catanduanes Island. As per information which has been understood, their boat capsized in storm 4 days earlier and were adrift since then without food and water. They are unable to speak English.
0755 Bicol MRSC contacted. One survivor spoke with on-duty coastguard incharge and passed necessary information in Tagalog language. Coast guard informed of vessel’s destination – Mauban, Philippines.
0800 MRSC advised vessel to head for Pandan to disembark survivors. Vessel advised MRSC that ship cannot come closer to coast and can take survivors to Mauban if permission granted.
0805 MRSC advised vessel to head 10 miles north of Pandan where rendezvous will be arranged to pick up survivors by coast guard vessel.
Presently vessel heading for 10 miles north of Pandan to disembark survivors as per coast guard instructions.
Weather conditions – wind force – 5 , sea state – moderate to rough.
All parties please be informed. Will update once survivors are disembarked. ETA Off pandan – 1030LT
Thanks & Best Regards
Capt. Abhijeet Terdalkar

Letter from one of our family members – We Welcome Aditi!

Dear Sir,
Good day,
I am pleased to inform you about our newborn daughter, Aditi Sood -D/O/B – 05th April 2013 and the recent promotion of my husband Abhinav Sood ( C/E – Sailing on M.V Federal Oshima ). I would like to share the good news considering ourselves to be a part of AESM family.
I would be pleased to announce it in the Homeward magazine and would like to get the copy of the same.
Thanking you,
Neha Sood
W/O Abhinav Sood
C/E Federal Oshima

Celebration of Independence Day onboard DARYA SHANTHI

1.Carrom: Mr. V.V. Pravin (2/E)
2.Quiz: Mr. Younus A. (Bosun)
3.Table Tennis: Mr. Sham Hudekar (Fitter)
4.Chess: Mr. Pawan Chawdhary(Eng Cadet)
We conducted few indoor games on board in which all crew participated. Winners were distributed small prizes on 15th Aug.
Winners name as follows:
1 Table Tennis: Mr. Sham Hudekar( Fitter)
2 Carrom: Mr. V.V. Pravin (2/E)
3 Chess: Mr. Pawan Chawdhary ( Eng cadet)
4 Quiz: Mr. Younus A.( Bosun)
Capt. Deepak Kumar
M.V. Darya Shanthi

Expedition to Roopkund

Pictures of expedition to Roopkund (Chamoli district) carried between 22nd June and 29th June (7 days). My group finished in record time of 3 days .This program was organized by www.indianhikes.com. Roopkund is 15750 feet above sea level and is a tough terrain.
– Kumar Ameya ( from Nanital) 2/E

5 Ways to prevent High Blood Pressure

Preventing high blood pressure involves understanding the risk factors and making smart decisions about what you can, and cannot, control. Simple things like choosing a more distant parking spot and having vegetables at each meal make a large impact on your overall risk profile. By focusing your energy on modifiable factors and working with your doctor, you can do more than you may realize to prevent the development of high blood pressure.

Understand Your Risk Factors

A variety of factors contribute to the development of high blood pressure. Familiarity with the most important risk factors will help you understand which areas need focus as well as which areas are under control. Also important is the idea that not all risk factors can be controlled. Family history of high blood pressure, for example, is an important risk factor but cannot be changed.
Paying attention to the factors you can change and understanding those you cannot is the first step to avoiding high blood pressure.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Salt, vitamins, minerals and other components of your diet play a large role in the health of your cardiovascular system and the condition of your blood vessels – both of which are important factors in the prevention of high blood pressure. In addition to controlling salt intake, eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a powerful way to safeguard your body against many diseases. Specific foods have been shown to help prevent high blood pressure,and others are suspected to have some protective effects on the cardiovascular
system in general.Modifying your diet will also help with weight control.

Make Lifestyle & Habit Changes

Smoking, obesity, and drinking too much alcohol all contribute to the development of high blood pressure. These lifestyle choices are all within your control to change, and making positive changes in these areas will not only help prevent high blood pressure, but will likely add years to your life. Along with a healthy diet, controlling body weight is one of the most important changes that you can make right now to help prevent high blood pressure. Quitting smoking usually results in rapid reductions in blood pressure and helps reverse blood vessel damage that could later lead to blood pressure problems.

Exercise More

Regular physical activity is an important step in keeping the cardiovascular system toned and the blood vessels healthy. A toned cardiovascular system works more efficiently, requiring less pressure to propel the blood through the blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels are more resilient to the forces generated by flowing blood and adapt better to changing blood flow without causing increased blood pressure. Exercise does not require fancy clothes, a gym membership, or a personal trainer. Walking, shopping, housework and taking the stairs all contribute to your exercise goal.

Visit Your Doctor

Preventative medicine is a powerful weapon in the fight against high blood pressure. Regular visits to the doctor can help identify and address any potential problems while they are still in the early stage. People who have an existing medical condition typically take regular doctor visits as a matter of course, but people who are generally healthy tend to put off visiting the doctor because “nothing is wrong.” Doctors are not just for people who are already sick. Studies have shown that regular doctor visits help prevent disease and that people who see their doctor regularly are more healthy and live longer than those who do not.

Are you getting fooled and paying extra money on your Restaurant Bills

Do you know that you might have lost thousands of rupees in paying extra money on restaurants bills over last few years, just because you do not understand what does service charge, service tax and VAT actually means and how are they calculated. Most of the times customers take it for granted assuming that hotel must charge it in right manner and as per rules laid down. Lets learn about these 3 concepts today so that next time you pay a hotel or restaurant bill, you exactly know what you are paying for and raise your voice if something is wrong.


Just before the bill arrives, I have this habit of running “guessing competition”. Whoever is with me, I ask him/her – “Guess, what would be the bill amount be around ? Give the range , whoever is close wins !” .
Almost all the time I am very close to the actual amount, but then I am not close to the final amount to pay, because I always forget to consider various tax and charges applicable, which always inflates the bill by 20-30% . Imagine you eat worth Rs 1,000 and pay Rs 1,260 finally ! . You know that feeling .

So if you look at your bills when you eat at hotels and restaurants, you will see 3 kind of charges namely “service charge” , “service tax” and “VAT” . Lets decode them one by one and see what exactly they are:


Service Charge is a charge levied by restaurant for the service provided to customers. This is generally 5%-10% of the bill and restaurant owner is free to charge whatever amount he/she wants as service charge. Its up-to you to decide if you want to eat there or not. The service charge has to be displayed in Menu, only then it can appear in the final bill. If you do not see it on Menu, it means it was not communicated to you and you cant not be charged service charge.

Actually service charges are to be distributed among waiters and staff and its kind of compulsory “tip” to be paid. So if there is service charge on the bill, you are not suppose to tip officially to any one. So don’t feel awkward not paying the tip, because you have already paid it in form of service charge, however most of the hotels and restaurants never tell you this explicitly. However one of the exceptions I know is restaurant called “Barbeque Nation”, I could clearly see it was written in their menu that “We will levy 4% service charge on the final bill, and you are not suppose to tip any one (strictly prohibited), because service charge will be shared among the staff” . The ethics quality was as high as their food quality.
So if your food bill is Rs 1,000 and service charge is 10% , then your final bill will be Rs 1,100.


The important thing, you should be aware about is how service tax is calculated! . Do you know that, Service tax is only applicable on 40% of the bill amount, not the total amount. As the service tax is around 12.36% at the moment, the final tax you need to pay is only 4.944% (12.5% X 40%) on the bill (inclusive of service charge).
The next important thing you should know is that, only AC restaurant can charge service tax. If there is no AC in restaurant (fully or partially) , they can’t charge service tax at all. This service tax goes to Govt of India. The service tax is payable on the bill amount + service charge. So if Bill amount is Rs 1,000 , and service charge was Rs 100 (10%), then your sub total would be Rs 1,100 . And your service tax will be computed on Rs 1,100 (not Rs 1,000).  4.944% of Rs 1,100 will be Rs 54.38 and your total bill after service tax would be Rs 1154.38 . A lot of unprofessional and small restaurants are found to charge service tax on the full bill and most of the customer pay because they have no idea what is wrong and what is right.


VAT is Value added Tax collected by State Govt. VAT is only applicable to the food items which are prepared inside the restaurant, because they “added some value” and then hand it over to you. So make sure you do not pay it on packaged items which are not prepared by Restaurant like Packaged food items, water bottles etc. A lot of times you eat at restaurant and also take a lot of packaged items, in which case VAT should be applicable not on final bill, but only sub total of the food items you consumed.

VAT Charges vary from state to state, but generally lie in the range of 10% – 15% . Like in Maharashtra its 12.5% , and in Karnataka its 14.5% . VAT is to be charged only on the main bill + service charges. It can’t be charged on the amount after service tax. So in the same example we looked about, the final bill after service charge was Rs 1,100 , so VAT at 12.5% will be Rs 137.5. Now total bill amount would be:

§ Food Bill – Rs 1,000
§ Service Charge – Rs 100
§ Service tax (4.944% of 1,100) – Rs 54.38
§ VAT (12.5% of 1,100) – Rs 137.5
§ Total – Rs 1,291
29% higher Bills compared to Cost

You can see how various charges and tax can increase your final bills by 25-30% . So next time you pay your bills, just make sure your check, if all the taxes and charges are computed properly and as per rules.

Snakes on board Darya Maan

Whale of a Time – M.V.Unique Carrier

Many sailors have sailed for decades, but hardly a few have been lucky enough to see school of mammoth Whales from a close distance.
We the members of Good vessel “M V Unique carrier” have witnessed pleasure in watching 4 whales playing around our shipside at Port Hedland anchorage on a bright sunny morning in August 2013.
These are few photographs taken quietly by a crew member without disturbing their playful mood.
Capt.Prafull S.Hudekar
Master / MV Unique Carrier

International Date Line Crossing Ceremony onboard Unique Explorer

Vessel Unique Explorer on her Voyage from Wakayama(Japan) To New York(USA) Crossed International Date Line on 09th Aug 2013 & On this Occasion International Date Line Ceremony was organized on board. Crew worked hard to prepare for this party & on this day a play was organized on board in which all of the Crew participated.
Play goes like this Morning 10.30 AM King Neptune Court was set on the Bridge wing. In which all the Darbari were present & the King entered along with the Queen. There was a wave of Happiness all across the state thus on the request of Darbari & ministers king organized a snacks & dance party. On completion of Dance party & snacks Jallad brought three Violators who entered The King’s territory by crossing the International Date Line & were demanded by the Darbari & minister that they should be given hard punishment.
But It was considered a holy occasion of Crossing International Date line & thus on the advice of Raj Prohit, The King ordered to shave their heads to make them bald & Special Holy drink of the kingdom was offered to solemnize the Violator & they were given the citizenship of the Country. Then all the Darbari, Ministers, The Queen & The King took them to familiarize with the boundary of their kingdom by taking a round of thw whole deck with Dancing & singing throughout. It was an occasion enjoyed by all on board.
Following were the participant Capt Navendu( King Neptune), E/OMahesh Nagarkoti(Queen),C/E Madhu Nayak(Senapati), C/O Prabhakar Singh(Raj Prohit),2/E Shabeer Ahmed(Mantri), (C/Ck Rao, OLR Nag, AB Vikas)(Jallad),(2/O Vasnshpreet,3/E Tarvinder, P/man Mehdi,3/O Prabhat , FTR Jivan, OLR Tandel)(Raj Nartaki), (AB Juwale, AB Yadav)(Body Guard) , Violators(Dk Cdt Sajal, E Cdt Hunar & STSM Yatin)
This was a great day filled with joy & laughter. On the end of this Play, a special food was prepared by our Cook Rao, viz Biryani, Bhajia, sweets & many more varieties. All were finger licking but Biryani was an instant hit. We all shall cherish this day as a sweet memory for rest of our life.
Narrated by Capt Navendu, Master Unique Explorer

Instant Birthday Cake… Lifelong Memories

It was 2330 hrs on 31st july 2013,just half an hour left for the month. The clocks arms were quite eager to wish 3rd/Off Prateek Jaiswal on his 23rd birthday.
Suddenly it striked on my mind how to make the moment a life time snap shot for him.”How about a Cake?” but how.

The recipe…

Quickly grab 5-6 white bread slices with their edges removed,layer them with jam and butter on both sides, at the base would be a whole wheat bread,then stack them all with some honey and crushed choclate biscuit on top of it, .Steal a chocobar icecream and orange for the choclate chips and fresh fruit icing on top.
Finally the tootpicks with the bday boy’s name on them.

The Moment

Exactly at midnight, 2nd/Off Debrojit Brahma, Vaz Xavier(AB),and me climbed up to bridge where the birthday boy along with AB(Ali) was ready to handover the watch. Looking at the cake he was elated. All of us wished him birthday and enjoyed the cake which took an instant time to make but added long lasting flavour.
Onboard ships where we are away from our family it takes only a little effort to see someone overwhelmed just with a small bread cake. I wish the birthday becomes a happy b’day for all seafarers onboard.


Spot The Differences

Image #2 is different from Image #1 in 10 ways. Can you spot these differences?
Please send the anwers to [email protected]