Snapped rope spoils MT’s salvage operation - The New Indian Express

Snapped rope spoils MT’s salvage operation

Published: 09th November 2012 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 09th November 2012 11:33 AM

The bid to haul stranded ship M T Pratibha Cauvery by the 133-tonne bollard pull, Malviya 21, ended in failure on Thursday as the polypropylene rope used for tugging the vessel gave way.

The salvage operations began around 1.30 pm in anticipation of the high tide at 3.52 pm but was watered down when the rope snapped.

Mercantile Marine Department officials said that the next step would be to use the emergency tow vessel, SCI Ratna, anchored outside Chennai Port, along with Malviya 21 to tug the vessel.

The next attempt was likely around 3 am on Friday ahead of the high tide around 4.30 am. Interestingly, there would be two high tides on Friday - at 4.30 am and 4.59 pm - giving the Port authorities ample time to prepare their strategy.

The salvagers were likely to deballast the ship - take out the ship’s water to reduce its weight. Once the weight was reduced it would be easier for Malviya 21 and SCI Ratna to haul the ship.

Experts felt that once the deballasting was done, the salvagers should ensure that the propeller of the ship was in water.

To deballast the ship, the generator would have to be operated to use the ballast pumps. Salvagers from SMIT said they had adequate oil to run the generator.

Port officials said in case this bid too failed, the sand around the ship would be removed, which would be a challenging task. However, the ship was expected to be hauled by Friday.

However, it was still not clear as to where it would be berthed. The Director General of Shipping might recommend it to L&T’s Kattupalli Shipyard in Ennore so that it could be repaired. But sources said that Kattupalli officials were not keen to have the ship.

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