20 June 2013

Company takes custody of abandoned ships:

A company which recycles ships has taken the custody of two abandoned oil tankers owned by the Pratibha Shipping Company, and is now in the process of taking the custody of two other oil tankers owned by them, i.e. the Pratibha Tapi and Indrayani, which are dangerously drifting and may run aground the Mumbai coast affecting the marine life and erosion of the coast.

The Best Oasis Ltd (BOL), which is also into ship recycling, has given the high court an assurance that it would carry out and pay for the salvage operation of Pratibha Tapi, which is less than two nautical miles away from Madh Island.

But, adding to the unfavourable weather condition is the engine failure of the 175 metre-long oil vessel Tapi, which is making the salvage operation even more difficult.

A senior DG Shipping official said that Tapi has lost all its certificates and could be scrapped but could be refurbished and reused. However, the BOL, which will get its custody, will decide on it.

BOL has already taken custody of Pratibha Cauvery and Pratibha Varna, which were lying in the scrap yard. In an accident off the Chennai coast, six sailors of Cauvery were killed in November last year. Varna too was stranded off its coast.

The Pratibha Shipping Company, which is reportedly bankrupt, has five more ships abandoned on different coasts, including two in India and rest three overseas. While one is in Goa, the other is in Visakhapatnam. It is still not clear whether BOL will also buy these ships to recover the money for the salvage operation of Tapi. A DG Shipping official made it clear that they will not bear the cost for the salvage operation of Tapi.

Source: asian age. By Joy Prkash Naidu. 20 June 2013

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