M.V. OSM Arena, a stranded ship in the outer-anchorage of the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT), is to be towed out to the Chittagong ship-breaking yard in Bangladesh soon.

The new owners have agreed to pay Rs.17.10 crore towards the settlement of dues of all stakeholders. They have also changed the Korean-flagged cargo vessel’s name to M.V. Yashwi. Talking to The Hindu, the port sources said a tug had been placed alongside the vessel and one more would arrive soon. The Indian Register of Shipping would carry out classification survey on Sunday. Thereafter, the vessel would be towed out to the ship breaking yard as the vessel is said to be unsafe for sailing.

Earlier, it was decided to take the vessel to Alang ship recycling yard in Gujarat. However, the idea was given up due to heavy rains lashing the western coast. While it might take nearly two weeks to reach Alang, Chittagong was seen as a viable alternative, the sources said.

The 28-year-old vessel has been in the high seas since February 2010 following an arrest order issued by the Calcutta High Court. The vessel drifted towards Napier Bridge on December 30, 2011, when cyclone Thane crossed the coast, resulting in loss of one of its anchors. The vessel was salvaged by a ChPT team.

In fact, the first set of 14 Mynmar sailors was replaced by new crew members. Food, provision and drinking water were supplied to the crew members by the Port and Chennai Seafarer’s Club, whenever their agents failed to do so.

Unable to bear the distress conditions they were subjected to, the sailors disembarked from the vessel during the first week of April. They were replaced by a couple of sailors to carry out maintenance and guard duty.

As the court has given permission for the vessel to sail, it will move out soon.

MT Pratibha Cauvery sailed out of Chennai Port to Chittagong last week, the sources said.

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