The recent sinking of a fishing vessel in the navigational channel of Cochin Port Trust has caused a number of losses to the port.
The direct loss incurred for salvaging the sunken vessel was INR 2.95 million (around USD 45,150), the port said in a statement, adding that the indirect loss due to cancellation/diversion of ships during the salvage period “is huge”.
To remind, the fishing vessel sank in the morning hours of September 19 while it was being towed to Thoppumpady harbour. It earlier developed a leakage and its engine stopped working while it was some 5 nautical miles off the coast. Prior to reaching its destination, the fishing vessel sank in the area between barmouth and Fort Kochi junkar.
The wreck was hampering vessel traffic in the area, GAC India earlier said, adding that Cochin Harbour was unable to handle ships of over 10 meters in draft as the wreck was located close to the center line of the channel.
The wreck was completely removed in the evening of September 29 and the channel was open for vessels up to 14.5-metre draft from September 30.
“It may be noted that the absolute recklessness with which an unseaworthy vessel was brought into the navigational channel of the port has caused immense loss to the port. Movement of such unseaworthy vessels is prohibited as per the ISPS Code and the notifications of Director General of Shipping, Govt. of India,” Cochin Port Trust said.
“This incident point fingers to the fact that allowing such irresponsibly handled unseaworthy condition vessels could be a cause for security hazards in future and hence proper registration and monitoring system has to be implemented by registering authorities,” the port added.