October 15, 2009 2:23:22 am
Rescue operations to salvage the ghost passenger ship Platinum II and tug Barakhoda continued for the second day on Wednesday.
Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) officials maintained that the nine crewmembers on board the tug are safe. Barakoda,which had maneuvered Platinum II,which was awaiting clearance for Alang for six days,is stuck due to an engine failure. A tug was sent to rescue the two vessels on Tuesday. It will be sent again to get Barakoda moving, said Bhavnagar Port Officer P M Rathod.
He added,Barakoda still needs some assistance for maneuvering. Platinum II,which was on its way to the Alang Ship Breaking Yard at Bhavnagar,is in danger of sinking. As it is loaded with asbestos,it was awaiting clearance from the GPCB for beaching at Alang.
On Tuesday,after Barakoda broke down,the two vessels drifted towards Gopnath off the Tadaja coast,some 25 km from Alang. Meanwhile,the GMB said in a statement that it has not given permission to Platinum II to drop anchor at Alang without observing the procedures prescribed by the Supreme Court. At present,Platinum II is off Gopnath,which is the outer anchorage point off Gopnath point, the GMB statement said.
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It said Platinum II will be given permission to beach at Alang only after the vessel gets clearance from the GPCB and the Customs Department following a physical inspection.
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