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i-maritime news letter

Korean cargo shipdrifts towards Chennai coast - 2012-01-02

A Korean cargo vessel, OSM Arena, with 14 members on board drifted towards the Chennai coast following heavy wind due to cyclone Thane. The storm with wind speeds of 140 kmph made landfall this morning between Cuddalore and Puducherry. The ship is carrying around 400 tonnes of bunker fuel, and was seen a few metre opposite INS Adayar (one of the Naval stations), south off the Chennai port. Last night, the ship drifted towards the coast as its winch, which is used to drop the anchor, broke down. The Chennai Port Trust is sending its engineers to repair the winch. Despite the ship being outside the Chennai port's limits, the port trust is sending two tugs to tow the ship to high seas, said the Port Trust's Chairman Atulya Mishra. “There is no danger due to the bunker oil. I personally spoke to the captain of the ship, and he said that things are under control. The ship can keep sailing within the limits,” Mishra told Business Line. Currently, the ship is safe and is sailing. The draft level opposite INS Adayar is eight metres, which is enough for that vessel. Mr Mishra said that for the last one month, Arena has been outside the Chennai harbour on arrest by the Madras High Court for dues to be paid to the Chennai Port Trust. The drifting of Arena is the third such incident on Indian shores in the last seven months. In June, cargo ship Wisdom broke the tow rope beached close to Mumbai's Juhu beach. In July, a small ship Pavit got grounded also on the Juhu beach. The drifting of such small ships bring into focus measures that should be taken during a cyclone, said a captain of a merchant ship on condition of anonymity

Source: Hindu Business Line