The severe cyclonic storm on Friday pushed ashore a stranded ship from the outer anchorage of Chennai Port Trust (CPT) into the INS Adyar area of the coast, near Marina beach, leading to apprehensions among the people of an oil spill and safety of the Chennai coast.
The Korean vessel, OSM Arena, was court-arrested following a commercial dispute between the ship’s owner and its previous cargo owner and it was abandoned in Chennai 22 months ago with 12 crewmembers belonging to Burma on board.
“Apparently, the engine of the ship failed and so the sailors were not able to lift the anchor when CPT hoisted the signal nine flag, meaning ‘great danger’. Further, we also cannot forcibly remove the crew unless they send an SOS to us,” said Dr P. Misra, principal officer, mercantile marine department (MMD).
“We have anchored the ship safely and she wouldn’t be drifting any further,” assured CPT chairman Atulya Misra, who added that the ship’s winch was not working and the engineers would fix it soon and move the vessel to the outer anchorage.