Police ask for details of communication from Captain

Operations to salvage the stranded vessel, Pratibha Cauvery, will begin in a day or two.

Experts are still trying to assess the ship on its various aspects. On Monday, a group drawn from the Coast Guard, mercantile marine department and members of the SMIT Salvage team boarded the vessel to study the naval architecture and examine its bottom and water level in the ballast tank among other things.

Talking to The Hindu, marine officers said they had recovered data from Voyage Data Recorder along with some documents, files and log book.

They were unable to lay their hands on important certificates pertaining to the cargo ship’s safety equipment and safety radio among others.

“We think these documents are with the Master of the ship. A move by the experts to light up the vessel failed as it did not have enough diesel. It has been decided to bring a diesel-driven pump to flush the water out of the ballast tank,” the officer said.

Malaviya 21, the anchor-handling and towing vessel with 133 bollard pull, arrived at the Chennai Port from Kakinada on Monday evening.

It will take a day or two to prepare the tug for the salvage operation.

SCI Ratna, emergency towing vessel, is likely to reach Chennai on Wednesday, said the officer.

Log details summoned

The Chennai police summoned all available log details available on board MT Pratibha Cauvery. Besides, the master or Captain of the vessel has been told to furnish details of all communication sent to Chennai Port, defence forces and the shipping company before the vessel was grounded.

“The communication sent/received is vital for the investigation. A police team will inspect the ship and take note of the inventory of materials available/relevant to the probe,” a senior police officer said.

A meeting of the Mercantile Marine Department, Chennai Police, Coast Guard, Navy, Chennai Port, will take place on Tuesday to discuss the circumstances that led to the incident and finalise certain aspects pertaining to the investigation, the officer said.