After being stranded and detained in Chennai for three long years, South Korean vessel OSM Arena is likely to be towed away to a scrapyard in either Alang, Chittagong or Mumbai in the next 10 to 15 days.
Port officials said that the ship, which entered Chennai in January 2010, was expected to be taken to one of these three scrapyards once the out-of-court settlement took place.
A Ravichandran, chief executive officer of ABH Marine Services, a Chennai-based ship management company under Steamer Ship Agent, said that they received the authorisation letter from Kolkata-based LMJ International to supply manpower for only 10 days.
The additional crew would be sent in only after getting the clearance from the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD).
It is likely that the ship would have only half the size of its original crew. According to Port sources, the crew numbers would not be more than five or six.
Ravichandran told Express that they had been been authorised to provide supplies and manpower for 10 days. The supplies include 20 tonnes of diesel, 100 tonnes of fresh water and 10 days of food. Currently, it has two crew members.
Meanwhile, International Transport Workers’ Federation inspector K Sreekumar said that the 14 Myanmar sailors who abandoned the vessel could only sign off after the fresh crew went onboard. He said the embassy officials were in Chennai and had been trying to contact ITF over signing off the seafarers.
The shore pass of the sailors is valid till Saturday and Sreekumar said it would be extended further.