Monday, March 5, 2012

'Killer ship' asked to report at Chennai Port

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 4, 2012:
CHENNAI: MV Prabhu Daya, one of the cargo vessels suspected to be involved in the hit-and-run incident with a fishing boat off the Alappuzha coast on Thursday, has been ‘asked’ to report to the Chennai Port for a detailed probe. It is expected to reach here on Sunday evening. Two fishermen were killed in the collision while three others on the boat are still missing.
According to Coast Guard sources, MV Prabhu Daya, which had sailed from Panaji for Singapore, has been instructed to reach South Indian port (Chennai) “as soon as possible”.
The vessel was spotted off Trincomalee (Northern Sri Lanka) on Saturday forenoon with over 25 crew onboard.
“Out of eight vessels that were near the scene of crime, seven responded immediately; only MV Prabhu Daya did not respond to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), hence we are treating it as a suspect,” a senior Coast Guard official told Express.
Besides the Coast Guard’s Eastern region’s team, three different teams from the Director General of Shipping (DGS), Indian Navy and Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) will reach Chennai by Sunday for detailed questioning of mv Prabhu Daya’s crew.
Since the vessel’s next scheduled port of call (POC) is in Singapore, it is still unclear whether it will be allowed to berth at Chennai Port or the probe teams will meet the crew at the outer anchorage.

UPDATE AT 1500 hrs on Monday: The ship yet to reach Chennai Port and the Coast Guard officials have said that the vessel would reach the harbour positively by 21.30 hrs on Monday.

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