Thiruvananthapuram

Vizhinjam sees more ship crew changes

More vessels and shipping agents are opting for outer anchorage crew change off Vizhinjam port.

On Tuesday, outer crew change for two vessels took place three nautical miles off the port. Sri Vishnu, a 79,000-tonnage vessel, sailing under the Indian flag from Iraq to the Paradip port in Odisha used the facility for eight seafarers to sign off and eight to sign on.

The seafarers who signed off included Grancy Mathew, an electrical engineer. This is the first time that a woman seafarer is signing off the Vizhinjam port. The crew change that began at 8 a.m. was completed by 2.30 p.m.

Fairchem Endurance, a chemical tanker currently sailing with a Panama flag to the port of As Suways, Suez, used the outer anchorage for crew change facility for 13 seafarers to sign off and 12 to sign on.

‘Much potential’

Capital Holdings, a city-based shipping agent, a new entrant to the field, was behind the crew change of Sri Vishnu. “Vizhinjam has shown its potential to emerge as a crew changing point despite the lack of infrastructure. Once the international deepwater seaport of AVPPL comes up, Vizhinjam can be retained as a crew changing port,” N. Ram Kumar of Capital Holdings said.

Ever Globe, a 2.19-lakh tonnage container ship, sailing under the flag of Panama from Egypt to Colombo, was the first to use this facility on July 15, with 14 seafarers signing off and 15 signing on.

Lack of tugs and infra facilities in the harbour are hurdles to emerging as a permanent crew change destination such as Mumbai, Kochi, and Goa ports.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:44:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/vizhinjam-sees-more-ship-crew-changes/article32395159.ece

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