Saturday, December 31, 2011

CHENNAI: Detained South Korean-flagged ship drifts to shore

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on Dec 31, 2011:
CHENNAI: Detained South Korean flag cargo vessel ‘OSM Arena’, anchored off the Chennai Port with a 14-member crew, drifted towards shore near INS Adyar in the wee hours of Friday due to gusty wind and rough seas. The vessel has been anchored off the port for the past 22 months following a Kolkata High Court order.
According to Chennai Port Trust sources, Coast Guard was informed immediately after the vessel began dragging its anchor due to rough seas.
Due to gusty winds, the vessel drifted eastwards and reached around 600 metres from the shore between mouth of Cooum River and the Port’s coal yard near INS Adyar.
The vessel was afloat in 12 to 13 metres of depth and action was being taken to shift it with the assistance of port tugs into deeper waters, sources told Express.
There was no danger to the vessel or the environment at present, a statement by the Port Trust said.It is learnt that one of the anchors of the vessel was not functioning and, due the water current coupled with strong winds, the ship began drifting towards the shore.
The Korean-flagged vessel is about 190 metres long and have 14 Myanmarese crew onboard.
The Chennai Port had also impleaded itself in the dispute as the anchored ship posed danger to the port and the environment since it had bunker fuel of about 400 tonnes on board. The Kolkata HC’s order in the case is expected by the first week of January 2012, the sources added.

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