Korean flag cargo ship OSM Arena, with a 14-member crew, has drifted towards Chennai shore and is facing the risk of running aground if another cyclone hits the coast, an official said on Friday.
"Though the ship was anchored outside the harbour, it started drifting towards the shore as one of anchors was not functioning. Currently the ship is safe, the draft level is eight metres," a Chennai Port Trust official said declining to be named.
"The problem will be if there is another cyclone before the ship is towed further into the sea," he said.
Cyclone Thane, packing a wind speed of 140 kmph, made landfall on the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Friday morning.
With one of its anchors faulty and the water current and winds strong, the ship started drifting towards the shore.
"We are trying to tow the ship to deeper waters. There are a couple of challenges. Firstly, the weather has to improve. Then, we have to set right the ship’s anchor that is not rolling back now," the official said.
The ship has around 400 tonnes of fuel and it would be a problem if the ship runs aground, he added.
The OSM Arena is involved in a legal dispute for nearly two years over some dues and has been anchored outside the Chennai Port under court orders, the official said.