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Another vessel runs aground off Versova

In a repeat of the MV Wisdom episode, an unmanned vessel MT Pavit ran aground off the Versova beach near Ruia Park on Sunday. Bhavika Jain reports.

mumbai Updated: Aug 01, 2011 01:55 IST
Bhavika Jain
Bhavika Jain
Hindustan Times

In a repeat of the MV Wisdom episode, an unmanned vessel MT Pavit ran aground off the Versova beach near Ruia Park on Sunday.

The Panama-flagged vessel, MV Pavit, was abandoned off the Oman coast on June 29, 2011, after water ingression and technical snag in the vessel was reported.

The 13 crew members, all of Indian origin, onboard the merchant vessel, were rescued by a US naval warship at St Albans near Falmouth Coast following an SOS from the captain of the merchant vessel.

According to maritime officials, after the crew was rescued and brought to Kandla Port, the owners of the ship failed to monitor the movement of the ship. They presumed that the vessel could have drowned, but it was drifting all along for more than a month.

The owners of the ship, who are based in Dubai, were asked to monitor the movement of the ship, which they didn’t.

“The owners of the vessel are at fault. They had to monitor the movement of the vessel. We will recover the cost of the salvage operations from them and are also contemplating to levy a penalty on them,” said Satish Agnihotri, directorate general of shipping.

The vessel has 30 tonnes of fuel reserves. As the vessel is carrying very little or negligible amount of fuel, the possibility of an oil slick is ruled out.

Agnihotri also added that since it is carrying negligible fuel, so hopefully there would be no environmental fallout.

Officials said that the salvage operations have begun and the salvers and emergency towing vessel, SMIT Lumba, have been summoned.

“Considering that the vessel weighs 999 tonnes (as compared to MV Wisdom, which weighed 9,000 tonnes) and that there are high tide days, we should not have much trouble with the salvage operations,” said another official from the Directorate General of Shipping.

The fire brigade, coast gaurd, and Mumbai police have stepped up their force to manage crowd at the beach. They have cordoned off the area close to the grounded ship to prevent people from venturing too close to it.

On June 12, MV Wisdom, which was being towed towards the ship-breaking yard in Alang in Gujarat from Colombo, and ran aground off the Juhu beach. The vessel could be salvaged only after three weeks.

First Published: Jul 31, 2011 19:23 IST