Police lodge complaint against owners of grounded ship

August 1st, 2011 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 1 (IANS) The Mumbai Police Monday registered a case of ‘negligence’ against the owners of M.T. Pavit, a stranded Panama-flagged oil tanker, which is grounded off Versova Beach in north-west Mumbai since Sunday, a maritime official said.

A first information report under section 336 of the Indian Penal Code has been lodged against the owners, captain and crew of the vessel by the Yellow Gate Police Station.

Earlier, the Directorate General of Shipping, Coast Guard and other agencies held a meeting to review the situation and discuss the modalities for effecting a salvage operation to remove the grounded ship.

Following a statutory notice served by the DGS under Maritime Shipping Act, 1958, Sec. 356J, the ship’s owners and managers replied that arrangements are underway to assess the ship and finalise a salvage plan.

In the meantime, the DGS has stationed an emergency towing vessel, ‘ETV Smit Lumba’ around a km from M.T. Pavit, which is having 10 tonnes of fuel oil and 10 tonnes of gas oil.

The unmanned ship, given up as sunk by its owners, had been adrift since July 29 and Sunday it finally struck ground near Mumbai’s north-west coast.

In view of the large quantity of oil on board the ship meant for scrap, the Indian Coast Guard helicopters carried out several sorties over and around the ship to ascertain whether it posed any kind of environmental hazard.

This is the second incident of its kind in less than two months off Mumbai’s picturesque and popular beaches.

On June 17, a discarded cargo ship, M.V. Wisdom had similarly drifted after breaking loose from its tow and was stuck at Juhu Beach until it was finally towed away July 2.

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