Oil tanker runs aground outside main channel of Cochin Port

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Kochi, Nov 17 (UNI) A tanker MT 'Ratna Shalini' carrying crude oil for the BPCL-Kochi Refinery ran aground outside the main channel of Cochin Port due to strong cross currents yesterday, Port authorities said today.

However, the shipping operations were not hampered as the major portion of the ship was outside the channel. Cochin Port Trust (CPT) authorities have deployed two tugs for the assistance of the vessel so that it does not move to shallower waters from its present position.

There was no pollution threat as the vessel was resting on soft mud, CPT spokesman Jijo Thomas said.

The vessel, owned by India Steam Ship Company Limited, Kolkata, was chartered by BPCL-KR. While entering the main channel of Cochin Port early yesterday, it drifted away due to strong cross currents and ran aground outside the channel near Buoy No two, on the northern side, he added.

The CPT authorities sent five tugs to pull the ship back to the channel but it could not be refloated.

Mr Thomas said the representatives of the Insurance company had already reached and were inspecting the vessel. They were likely to take a decision on lightening part of the cargo to float the ship and bring it to berth, he added.

UNI

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