Pratibha Cauvery ran aground off the Marina during Cyclone Nilam

A showcause notice has been issued to owners of MT Pratibha Cauvery, the ship that ran aground off Marina during Cyclone Nilam last month.

The company has been charged with failing to leave the dock in the Chennai Port after it was permitted to use the dock for 48 hours and for not adhering to safety norms.

The letter issued to Pratibha Shipping Company on November 30 by the senior deputy general of shipping (technical) alleged contravention of provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, and sought a reply within seven days, failing which the owners, the master and the agent shall be held liable to imprisonment or fine or both.

Pratibha Cauvery, which ran aground on October 31, was salvaged by a private firm on November 11. Thereafter it was berthed in the outer anchorage of Chennai Port.

The directorate general of shipping permitted the vessel to dock in its berth for two days from November 21 to get its two missing anchors connected, verify hull integrity and underwater inspection.

Even after expiry of first deadline by 10 days, the vessel is still alongside the tanker terminal. The new crew members have boarded the vessel as the existing crew are lodged in a city hotel. After completing their task, the salvers left on November 26.

According to officials, the showcause notice was issued for not possessing valid insurance cover for pollution, wreck removal and third party liabilities; for overstaying at the terminal; absence of suitable tug to ensure vessel’s safety and not adhering to security and protection of environment standards.

The insurance cover issued by P&I Insurance Company expired on November 24.

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