Coast Guard geared up to check oil spill from sunken ship

Indian Coast Guard aircraft from its Kochi unit is expected to reach Mangalore latenight on Saturday for the surveillance of ocean region where the Chinese cargo vessel ‘MV Asian Forest’ has been sunk, said Coast Guard Karnataka Commandant Padam Shekhar Jha.

Jha told Deccan Herald that the Coast Guard is well prepared to check the possible oil spill from the vessel, which was capsized about 6 nautical miles away from New Mangalore Port. He said that the Pollution Response Team of the Indian Coast Guard from Mumbai has been alerted and all equipment required to check pollution has been kept ready. Coast Guard ships from Mumbai and Kochi will also reach Mangalore with all equipment to tackle the situation as a precautionary measure, he said.

Jha said that the district administration, Police, Home Guards and other departments to mobilise available resources to prevent pollution. The salvage operations to remove 366 metric tonnes of fuel oil and 45 tonnes of diesel from the MV Asian Forest will be carried out soon after the arrival of Singapore based Smith and Company on Sunday.

The owner of the vessel, P & G Marine Company Limited, Busan in South Korea, agents Golf Alpha Charley Shipping Private Limited and ABCO Trading Company, Kottara Chowki, Manglaore have agreed to expedite the salvage operations, he added.

Jha said that the Coast Guard ship ‘Kasturba Gandhi’ has already been sent for the surveillance of the region where MV Asian Forest wrecked. Similarly, ‘ICGS Sankalp’ and ‘Savithri Bai’ will also be sailed for surveillance, he added.

Talking about further inquiry with regard to the circumstance which led to the listing of vessel, Jha said that the decision will be taken by the higher authorities.

Crew safe
All the crew members of the MV Asian Forest are safe and the company will make necessary arrangements for their safe return to China with the help of district administration and police. There were 18 crew members in the 2006 model vessel which was built in Hongkong and was registered in 2007. The ship which sailed out from New Mangalore Port carrying 13,600 MT of iron ore fines to Zhavgjiagang in China at around 9.30 am on Friday. All the 18 crew members including captain Yin Shang Yan were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘ICGS Sankalp’.

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