A floating restaurant off the Bandra coast near Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, with 15 people on board, capsized on Friday evening in the Arabian Sea. Everyone on board the Ark Deck Bar was rescued.
A commuter on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link noticed the ship tilting and informed the fire brigade as well as the police. “We called the Bandra police, who checked the CCTV footage and confirmed the ship was sinking,” Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, R Chaudhari, told the Hindustan Times.
In a statement, Ark Deck Bar said there were strong winds around 6.15 pm, which caused the anchor to slip and the ship tilted on one side. “The captain had gauged the severity beforehand and cleared the boat,” the statement read, according to DNA. “There were 15 people who were rescued. The boat capsized around 7.10 pm.”
The boat was set for a final sailing on Friday before shutting for the monsoon. Floating restaurants dock for four months every year and reopen in the first week of October. These restaurants, also known as floatels, are part of the Maharashtra government’s main attraction for coastline tourism. There are three floatels currently operational near the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Two others have been proposed to start near the Gateway of India after the monsoon.
Bharatiya Janata Party Mumbai Secretary Vivekanand Gupta alleged that the owners of all three floatels have been operating without proper permissions. In a tweet made on March 26, Gupta had said that a total of 108 permissions are required.
On Friday, Gupta said authorities had turned a blind eye towards his claims. “It was a fishing trawler illegally converted into party yacht Avior operated by Ocean Blue at Gateway of India and later shifted to Bandra Worli Sea Link after renaming as Ark Deck Bar,” he claimed on Twitter.