- Floating Goa casino boat runs aground leaving four crew to be rescued
- No casino customers on board at time of incident
A floating casino in the Indian state of Goa ran aground and got stuck on a sandbar near Miramar beach on Sunday.
The MV Lucky 7 casino cruise ship was on its way from Mormugao harbour to the Mandovi river where it is supposed to be anchored but got stuck, just a week after it was given permission to set sail by the High Court of Bombay.
Coastguard rescue operation
The Indian coast guard had to rescue 4 of the 19 crew members that were on board the vessel, one of whom was injured.
Speaking to PTI, Deputy Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard Manoj Badkar said: “The vessel got stuck in the Aguada sandbar off the Miramar coast. We received a call last night to rescue the crew members who were in distress.
“A Coast Guard helicopter was pressed into action and the four crew members, including one who was injured, were rescued. The three other rescued crew members of the vessel were extremely sea sick.”
The MV Lucky 7 is the sixth offshore casino that has been licensed to operate casino games in the Mandovi river, however the BJP-led Goa Government has recently reiterated its desire to relocate the offshore casinos.
Offshore casinos in Goa
The casinos on the river were recently given a renewed deadline to find a new home and now have until 30th September to move.
The awarding of the license to the MV Lucky 7 was very controversial and was opposed by some political parties and anti-gambling groups.
Despite attempts to relocate the casinos, efforts have so far been without reward as the Government struggles to find locations willing to host the casinos.
The news of MV Lucky 7 running aground, reportedly down to high risks being taken during monsoon season in the Aguada sandbar region, could lead to further opposition for the floating vessel casinos.
A spokesman for the opposition AAP Goa party blamed the Government for the disaster, saying they “overruled” the advice of the Captain of Ports.
Congress party secretary Girish Chodankar also demanded that the ship’s owner “should be arrested immediately” over the incident.
Whilst offshore casino gambling in the Goa region remains controversial, the state’s Town and Country Planning Minister recently proposed a new idea of bringing the casino’s onshore where around 10 gaming venues already operate.
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