[dehai-news] (Times of India) Removal of ship wreckage to commence in 2 weeks

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 12:39:53 EST

  Removal of ship wreckage to commence in 2 weeks
23 Jan 2009, 1921 hrs IST, STANLEY G PINTO, TNN

  MANGALORE: The operation to remove the wreckage of the Eritrean Ship `Den
Den', which capsized at the Tannir Bhavi Coast near the New Mangalore Port
(NMP) in June 2007, will commence within a fortnight.

Confirming this, Pradeep Mohanty, deputy conservator (in charge), NMP, told
The Times of India that the agency, Fairdeal, is in the process of getting
clearances from various authorities like the Pollution Control Board,
Customs, etc, which may take more than a week, according to the agency

Apart from these mandatory clearances, the agency will have to submit the
necessary bank guarantee and undertaking to the port before starting the
wreckage removal operations, which they have furnished to the port, Mohanty
said. The bank guarantee is to ensure that in case the agency encounters
problems in removing the wreck or there is some pollution problem, the port
will use the bank guarantee to do the job.

The process started due to the pressure mounted by the NMP as the agency,
which first bought the wreckage for its scrap value from the insurance
agency InterCoastal Shipowners P&I BV did not show any inclination to start
work. After a series of letters to the insurance agency, things started
moving in the right direction. The port authorities were worried that the
wreck may pose a problem for further development of the port activities.

Even at the district administration level, proceedings were taken up under
Section 133 (pertaining to removal of the wreckage), but were dropped, as no
clause was available in the government of India rules for the removal of the
capsized vessel. "No law mandates removal of the wreck unless it is
dangerous to movement of vessels or boats," an official said.

The port may provide the land on rent to the agency to haul the wreck and
break it. Mohanty said according to Fairdeal, the entire operation might
take a minimum of three months. Mohanty noted that the agency would try to
haul the wreckage on the beach and then break it or may cut the them into
pieces in the water itself, if it cannot be hauled entirely.

The ship, belonging to the government of Eritrea got grounded at the Tannir
Bhavi beach after an engine seizure four nautical miles off the Mangalore
port and capsized on June 23, 2007.

There were 24 crew on board and 21 saved themselves on a lifeboat after
Coast Guard were unable to launch rescue operations due to rough weather
conditions. The ship was transporting iron slag from Kudremukh Iron Ore
Company to the United Arab Emirates. In November 2007, Svitzer Salvage
removed heavy oil and other contents from Den Den.

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