Thiruvananthapuram

Divers discover wreck of vessel near Vizhinjam in Kerala

The Iranian ship sank off Thiruvananthapuram coast during Cyclone Ockhi

Divers have discovered the wreck of a vessel, reportedly Iranian, which sank off the Thiruvananthapuram coast during Cyclone Ockhi in 2017.

The announcement was made by Friends of Marine Life (FML), a Valiathura-based research forum, whose divers and those of SCUBA Cochin made the discovery.

The submerged wreck was discovered on the seabed near Poonthura, although the vessel sank further south near Vizhinjam, FML convener Robert Panipilla said. Strong undercurrents in the region are believed to have dragged the wreck northward.

Earlier attempts made by the owner to trace the sunken vessel with government help had not succeeded, according to Mr. Panipilla and Justin Jose of SCUBA Cochin. The wreck has now been discovered at a spot 2.5 km west of the Poonthura church. Here, the water is 36 m deep, according to estimations made by the divers.

Ghost nets

Listed to one side, the wreck has run aground on the seabed with its bow facing southeast, according to Mr. Panipilla, who was also one of the divers.

The mast of the vessel, however, appears to be intact, rising up to a height of five metres.

But the divers could not enter the vessel that is covered by ‘ghost nets’ — fishing nets abandoned or lost in the sea that continue to be a threat to marine life.

On the other hand, the divers noted the presence of different species of fish around the wreck.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 8:44:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/divers-discover-wreck-of-vessel/article26489636.ece

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