MV Maa grounding saga continues

Efforts were continuing by the agents for the ship owners and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to repatriate the 15 crew members of the MV Maa (IMO 9557331), which grounded in mid-October near Tenneti Park in Visakhapatnam, Bay of Bengal, India.

Navship Marine Services Pvt Ltd, the agents for the ship, said the investigation of the crew completed on November 25th, with the local officials of Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) finishing the process for gathering information on the probable reasons for running aground from the crew stranded on the ship.

The MMD officials will submit to the Principal Officer, Chennai for repatriation of the stranded crew. The crew were scheduled to be sent to Bangladesh within a week. The crew had asked to be moved from the vessel to a hotel because of an approaching cyclone. However, the weather was not particularly bad in the location of the vessel, so it was decided not to shift them.

Gill Marine was appointed on October 14th to remove all the oils from the vessel. That job was completed on November 14th after precisely one month, with 149 tons of fuel removed.

The Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy have now ruled out the possibility of oil spillage. Subsequently the owners were negotiating with the salvage team for refloating of the vessel. The owners have appointed Resolve Marine for this task, which was scheduled for November 14th.

The salvors had a meeting on November 11th with the Vizag Port’s Deputy Conservator (Marine Department), Captain I Srinivas, along with the Indian Coast Guard, P&I representative, agents and the salvage company representative had submitted the salvage report and the plan of action.

The plan was to refloat the vessel during the evening of November 14th, before handing over the tow line to the Vizag Port authorities which would then bring the vessel by using the port tugs at a berth at Hindustan Shipyard jetty for dry docking on November 18th.

However, the Deputy Conservator later advised the ship owners to get clearance from Indian Register of shipping and give an undertaking for entry inside the Vizag Port. They approached the IRS and requested them for inspection at the current location but they refused to attend the survey on the ship because as per their by-laws they have to carry out the inspection once the vessel is refloated.

The refusal to allow entry into the Vizag Port area led the owners to communicate to the port the notice of abandonment through the agencies concerned on November 12th on receipt of information from their Vizag-based agents.

2009-built, Bangladesh-flagged, 1,599 gt Maa is owned by Advance Shipping Ltd of Dhaka, Bangladesh. ISM manager is Marintrust Ltd of Dhaka, Bangladesh.