NMPT beaches Mercator-owned dredger

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on October 29, 2019

New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has beached the dredger Bhagavati Prem, owned by Mercator, to the coast near Surathkal in Mangaluru taluk.

AV Ramana, Chairman of NMPT, told BusinessLine that the captain of the dredger had reported a slight water ingress on Monday morning. Port officials and experts who boarded the dredger found that the hull was breached. Keeping the vessel in water would have led to its sinking since the rate of flooding was significant.

Four tugs escorted the dredger to a place close to Surathkal. “We have beached (grounded) it safely,” Ramana said. The dredger, which had been anchored in New Mangalore Port limits since April without rudders and class certification, was in a state disrepair, he added.

Another dredger owned by Mercator, Tridevi Prem, sank near New Mangalore Port on September 3. Ramana said Tridevi Prem had high-speed low-sulphur diesel. Because of this, there was no threat to environment.

He said NMPT has been sending communications to the Directorate General of Shipping and Mercator after the September 3 incident on the need to remove Bhagavati Prem. There was no concrete action from the owner of Bhagavati Prem.

He said NMPT would again issue a notice to Mercator, and inform DG Shipping of the beaching. “If they don’t respond, we will take it to court and follow its directions,” he said.

Published on October 29, 2019

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