Difficulties Entering Mumbai

Clearance and anchoring difficulties experience by a cruising yacht in Cochin, India.

Published 4 years ago

We entered India at Cochin, then sailed north hoping to catch up with one of the rallies/convoys heading to Oman via the northern route. The capture of SV ING and exhortations of friends who had crossed the Arabian Sea not to continue alone. helped us come to the decision to not proceed to the Red Sea and to look for a ship to take us to the Mediterranean.

When we arrived off Mumbai we tried many times to call Port Ops on ch 12 with no response. We continued and eventually anchored off the Gateway of India. Tried again to contact harbour authorities without success, so went ashore the next morning to speak to the Yacht Club about entering. The sailing manager was not there but his assistant gave us phone numbers to call the Port Captain. We called and were told that we must employ an agent and that it was illegal to enter Mumbai without advising one’s agent beforehand.

The yacht club sailing manager would have helped us with the bureaucracy, but as I said, was not there that day.

We contacted Raju from Marine Solutions who acted as agent ( [email protected] phone +91(0)9004380408), but it took 2 days before we could go ashore. Raju told me that the rally organisers called/emailed him before arriving so that he was able to square things with the authorities before the yachts arrived. We weren’t given any information in Cochin about the requirements.

This is all a reflection of the response to the terrorist attacks in the harbour and city a couple of years ago.

The anchorage is full of power boats and a few yachts. We anchored near Dolphin Rock and were told by the Navy that we were in Navy waters and would have to move. It seems that anchoring outside a line from the navy dock to Dolphin Rock is to anchor in Navy water. After a small yacht left, we were able to move in a few metres and that seems to have satisfied them.

Our thanks to Robin Burrows for this report.

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