'Sunken ship owners to bear all loss'

Members of the public have been asked not to touch any ship wreckages


As per the law the owners of the ship M V Asian Forest are bound to bear the losses, if any, including the loss to their daily earnings due to pollution caused by the oil spill.

“The fisheries department and tourism department among others should report the same in case of any loss incurred due to sinking of the ship,” said Mercantile Marine Department Principal Officer (Cochin Region - comprising Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep) M P John (who also represented Director General - Shipping).
To a query, an officer said that the insurance company may have to pay upto $ 1 billion, in case of serious threat to marine life and environmental pollution.

Plea to fishermen
Speaking on the occasion, Coast Guard Commandant P S Jha said that untill the ship owners make an alternative arrangement, an orange-coloured life boat located at the spot of the sunken ship should be considered as a marker for other vessels (so that they don’t run over the sunken ship).

He also appealed to the members of the public not to touch any wreckage of the sunken ship which may be floating or lying on the shores. “The wreckages would help investigating agencies to gather more information,” he noted. As many as six huge ship wreckage pieces have been found near Ucchhila in Someshwara.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner-in-Charge Prabhakar Sharma too agreed to take responsibility of protecting the wreckages on shore.

Crew in M’lore
To a query, John said that the government has ordered a preliminary investigation into the mishap. “Untill the investigations are over, the crew will have to stay back in Mangalore,” he said and added that all their needs will be taken care of.
It may be recalled that the ship, Asian Forest, which sailed out from New Mangalore Port carrying 13,600 MT of iron ore fines to Zhavgjiagang in China listed on Friday and later sank on Saturday. While 13 crew managed to reach the shore using life boats, the Coast Guard rescued the five others.

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