Cyclone Ockhi: Mumbai's boating companies asked to move to safer place

Dec 06, 2017, 10:34 IST | Hemal Ashar

As a precautionary measure for Cyclone Ockhi, city's yachting enterprises asked to move boats to secure ground, some to the docks, others to Alibaug

When it comes to ensuring the safety of the city from Cyclone Ockhi, the authorities are not leaving the yachts behind. Over the weekend, Mumbai's yachting enterprises were asked to move their boats to safer grounds. Royal Bombay Yacht Club's (RBYC) Commodore and sailing committee chief, Sam Pochkhanawala said, "Our boats sailed to Mandwa over the weekend. They are safe at the beach there in front of the Bombay Sailing Association clubhouse."

 The Knotty Girl keelboat
The Knotty Girl keelboat

Rare in Mumbai
Pochkhanawala claimed the club's prized acquisition, a yacht called 'Knotty Girl' bought in October 2016, "has been taken to Indira dock in Mumbai, thanks to the co-operation of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT)." Knotty Girl is a keelboat and had to be docked there. Pochkhanawala added, "Our boats will be brought back once it is verified that the cyclone has made landfall somewhere. Moving boats to safe havens because of cyclones is rare in Mumbai, but what is rarer is a cyclone bringing heavy rain and winds in December," chuckled Pochkhanawala.

Well prepared, proactive
Aashim Mongia, world champion in the enterprise class and Arjuna Award winner, owner of West Coast Marine Yacht Services that looks after private boats, has moved more than 20 of them into the MbPT's docks. Mongia, who started the company in 1994 says, "I think a cyclone warning like this came way back in 1991. The government is well prepared and proactive now. Good we could prepare for the event as early as Sunday itself. I am impressed by the alacrity and coordination," said Mongia.

Aashim Mongia
Aashim Mongia

Need a marina
Champion sailor and another Arjuna Award winner, Homi Motivala, who is also the proprietor of Sailing Stuff boat company said, "Six boats have been moved to Indira docks. It is time for Mumbai to get a marina. We need to preserve our waters, because in this city, the land is all taken up; all we have open are the waters. Let us take pride in them. 'First world' and 'smart cities' remain feel-good phrases if we do not have infrastructure like a marina in the city," said Motivala.

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