Stranded Chinese ship refloated by salvage experts

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Mangalore, Sep 13 (UNI) After a marathon four-day operation, salvage experts today successfully refloated the stranded Chinese ship 'Cheng Le Men' that ran aground off Tannirbavi coast, near here, last week.

The 14-member expert team from Holland-based Svitzer Salvage International succeeded in pulling the ship to deep waters, after unloading most of the 16,000 tonnes of iron ore fines and other heavy materials. The ship had drifted dangerously towards the coast due to a technical snag and ran aground soon after leaving the New Mangalore Port.

Old Mangalore Port official Mohan Kudri told UNI that the process of shifting the cargo, which began on Tuesday, resulted in the list (tilt) coming down to eight degrees yesterday from 14 degrees and became normal today, after completion of the unloading operation.

The stranded ship was pulled to the deep waters this morning and was now anchored at about 3.5 nautical miles away from the old port.

It would be towed back to the port for repairs later, he said.

Mr Kudri said two tugs from the New Mangalore Port were pressed into service for the pulling operation. The expert team would make a survey of the ship, before bringing her back to the New Mangalore Port in a few days, he added.

The Chinese ship with 16,100 tonnes of iron ore fines developed a steady list, seven nautical miles away from the New Mangalore Port due to fault loading of the cargo and ran aground 1400 m off Tannirbavi beach on Friday last.

The salvage experts' team, 28 crew members and 20 labourers, with the help of three excavators, had worked for four days to shift the cargo and brought the ship back on an even keel.


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