03 July 2011

Cargo ship MV Wisdom stranded off India coast towed to safety

The vessel is being taken to Mumbai outer anchorage before it will be sent for scrapping

MV Wisdom being towed
Mumbai: A cargo ship that ran aground at the Juhu beach in northwest Mumbai has been refloated to safety, officials said on Saturday.

SMIT Lumba, an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) owned by Salvers SMIT International and chartered by national carrier Messrs Shipping Corporation of India, pulled out the stranded Singapore flagged 9,367 ton ship.

"MV Wisdom has been refloated safely at 12:45 pm by SMIT international, a Singapore-based salvage company with the help of two powerful tugs. The vessel is being taken to Mumbai outer anchorage and thereafter the vessel would be eventually towed to Alang-Bhavnagar Gujarat for scrapping at the earliest," said a senior official from the Directorate General of Shipping.

MV Wisdom had run aground off the Juhu beach on the night of June 11, while it was being towed from Colombo to the Alang ship breaking yard in Gujarat by MV Seabulk Plover for scrapping.

The cable linked from the ship to the vessel had snapped at around 12 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast earlie that afternoon. Later in the night, the MV Wisdom had run aground off the Juhu beach, while drifting.

With the help of salvers hired by them, the DG shipping officials, who have been since then been trying to re-float the stranded vessel, had made unsuccessful three attempts in the third week of June. They had suspended the salvage operation on June 19, after an engine in the lead tug vessel developed a snag.

"Amidst tight security arrangements made by the Mumbai police, we made one more attempt to refloat MV Wisdom this afternoon during the spring tide conditions, window by using the ETV. The salvage experts on board this ship displayed extra ordinary skills in this successful re-floatation exercise," a Shipping Directorate official said.

The authorities heaved a sigh of relief, as the salvers succeeded in refloating the stranded vessel which had not only become a major attraction for tourists visiting the Juhu beach but had also contributed to at least half a dozen incidents of drowning involving the curious onlookers.

Source: Gulf News. By S Narendra. 2 July 2011

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