‘Drifting’ oil tanker has Coast Guard on alert

A 23,000-TON oil tanker,which has reportedly been drifting from its anchor position for the past two days,

Written by Gautam S Mengle | Mumbai | Published: June 17, 2013 2:51 am

A 23,000-TON oil tanker,which has reportedly been drifting from its anchor position for the past two days,reached the vicinity of Madh Island Sunday.

Official sources said the ship — Pratibha Tapi — was an oil tanker with a gross tonnage of 23,926 tonnes and belonged to Pratibha Shipping Company. Its proximity to the shore has sparked fears of it running aground.

The vessel is being monitored by Coast Guard,with other related agencies on standby. It had been anchored at 12 nautical miles off Mumbai coast for the past four-five months along with another ship,Pratibha Indrayani.

Pratibha Shipping,which is reportedly facing a severe financial crisis,has decided to approach Bombay High Court Monday and seek relief for “maintenance” of the ship. It had run into financial trouble a year ago. “The ship is in the last stages of sale negotiation. It got stuck as the vessel was arrested by Indian Register of Shipping (classification society) because of which the buyers,a Dubai-based company,are yet to take custody.”

“Tapi is in ballast condition and has a skeletal crew of four persons and minimal fuel. What we know so far is its anchor started dragging owing to the swell of the ocean,causing it to drift,” said a Navy officer.

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