Investigations into the wreck also determined that it has not damaged the environment

Preliminary investigations into the wreck of the MT Pratibha Cauvery have revealed that the vessel is seaworthy and has not damaged the environment.

An emergency towing vessel of the directorate general of shipping from Mumbai, is expected to reach here on November 6 to move it to a safer place and then, for repairs.

A six-member team from Philippines and Netherlands representing SMIT Salvage, a firm involved in emergency response, wreck removal operations and environmental care services, investigated the seaworthiness of the vessel which ran aground due to cyclone Nilam near Nochikuppam on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Pratibha Shipping Company had signed the Lloyds Open Form (LOF), an agreement for salvage, with SMIT, a Dutch maritime services company. SMIT Salvage is a division of SMIT. It has successfully carried out several rescue operations in various Indian ports.

Chennai Port Trust and Ennore Port, which have access to six tugs with 35 to 45 tonnes of bollard pull, may also contribute to the the salvage work.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the company admitted that it had not paid the crew since July but claimed it had been ensuring there were no problems on board.

Captain Avinash Mohan, marine manager, Pratibha Shipping Company also refuted accusations that the ship had run out of diesel.

He said there was still some diesel left and his company had been arranging for refill through a Dubai company which had been delayed due to the stormy weather.

“The available diesel was sufficient till November 11,” he added.

He blamed the consigners’ refusal to pay its dues for the tight spot the company was in.