Wisdom stuck on Mumbai beach, salvors suspend operation

Officials said a "last ditch" attempt to tow it back to sea will be made tomorrow. If efforts fail, operations will have to be suspended for a fortnight till the tides are high enough to keep the ship afloat to enable it to be pulled back to sea from shallow waters by tug boats.

Sources said the operation would resume after 2 PM when high tide is expected.
The ship, which ran aground last Saturday, has to move by over 40 degrees from its current position for the tugs to start pulling it deeper into the sea. However, the 145 metre cargo vessel did not sufficiently respond to the salvage efforts.

"It moved by only 4-5 degrees today during the high tide which is the only time when the operation can be carried out. Tomorrow we have an outside chance and will make a last ditch attempt to salvage the ship," Director General of Shipping S B Agnihotri told PTI.

If efforts do not fructify tomorrow as well, the ship will remain stranded at the beach for at least a fortnight more, as tide levels will not be sufficient to carry out the operation during the intervening period, he said.

"It is like slog overs in cricket, tomorrow is our last chance," Agnihotri said.
The operation was called off yesterday after the ship could not be connected to the tug vessel, apparently due to rough sea.

Two specialised tug boats were deployed today by a ship salvage company hired by the owners of the vessel as locals and tourists thronged the famous beach to watch the operation. The freighter was being tugged to the Alang ship breaking yard in Gujarat from Colombo when the cable to its tow boat snapped, causing the vessel to go adrift.

Initially, it was feared that it will crash into the Bandra-Worli Sealink, but it drifted northwards to Juhu and ran aground.

As it was being taken to be dismantled, the vessel has no cargo or fuel, reducing the possibility of any immediate threat to the city's marine ecology.

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