Operations to salvage the stranded vessel, MT Pratibha Cauvery, failed on Thursday after the towing rope snapped. They will resume at 3 a.m. on Friday during high tide.
According to sources, the team, which began the work at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Nochikuppam, was able to move the ship only 6 degrees east during the high tide. The tug Malaviya 21 tried to pull the vessel from various angles. At 3.40 p.m. the 20-metre rope snapped and had to be intertwined. As the tide began to recede at 3.52 p.m., the experts called it a day.
Talking to The Hindu , the experts said they were able to lift the bow (front portion of the ship) by a few metres, while the aft (rear portion) remained more or less at the same level. Water has to be de-ballasted from the stern tank to lift the aft.
The services of Malaviya 21 will be available only till Friday evening. As not much progress can be achieved with the single anchor handling and towing vessel from Kakinada, the experts are contemplating deploying the SCI Ratna so as to complete the work by Friday. Currently, the emergency towing vessel has been kept on standby.
On Thursday morning, the team commenced the operations by emptying a portion of ballast water with the help of portable diesel engine to make the vessel lighter and lift it from the seabed. Later, in the afternoon, they removed the slush in the diesel tank and started the engine to empty more water.
The Mercantile Marine Department is expected to complete enquiring with the crew members by Wednesday and the report will be submitted to the Directorate General of Shipping on December 1.
The ChPT has also decided to honour five fishermen of Ururkuppam for saving the lives of six crew members of MT Pratibha Cauvery.