Dredger beached near Surathkal to prevent problems

The dredger Bhagavati Prem that was beached near Surathkal Light House on Monday.

The dredger Bhagavathi Prem was successfully beached near Surathkal Lighthouse on Monday night.

The dredger, owned by Mercator Ltd, was anchored at New Mangalore Port limits since April, without rudders and class certification.

In spite of the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) issuing notices and a warning to remove the vessel from port limits, the owner did not rescue the vessel or remove the vessel from the port, said NMPT chairman A V Ramana.

When the captain of the vessel sought assistance from the deputy conservator of the Port to check the leak and drift the vessel, the officials from the Marine Department at the Port boarded the vessel armed with additional pumps, barges and tugs. After boarding, they found that the hull was breached and if the vessel was allowed to remain in floating condition, it would sink.

To prevent damage to the ecology, environment, port and the adjoining areas, the NMPT authorities decided to immediately beach the vessel. The action was also taken to safeguard the lives of the crew, said the chairman.

It may be recalled that Tridevi Prem, another dredger of the same company had sunk about 2.5 nautical miles off the port on September 2.

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