Salvage operations at stricken general cargo ship SSL Kolkata (IMO 9346574) continued this week despite swells of between two and four metres. Only a minor oil leakage from the vessel has been detected so far.
SSL Kolkata was sailing from Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Kolkata when a fire broke out due to an explosion in one of the containers. The crew, which stayed on board to battle the fire, was eventually forced to evacuate due to the intensity of the blaze. All 22 crew members were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard and unharmed.
The vessel then went adrift and later grounded. It has now developed a list to starboard, with the deck part-submerged.
Vessels, tugs, crane barges and oil spill response equipment have been mobilized and deployed by SMIT International salvage for salvage and oil recovery operations.
The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) is advising and coordinating with local authorities. A team from Oil Spill Response Ltd. (OSRL) is on site to initiate preventive measures in the event of oil pollution.
Shallow draft barges have been sourced from Singapore and UAE and were expected to arrive on site shortly. The two vessels will facilitate bunker oil and cargo removal operations.
A team from clean—up contractor Le Floch Depollution is also on site near the Sunderbans, while a helicopter dispersant system is being tested by the Indian Air Force team. Divers from SMIT hope to attempt an underwater inspection of the vessel to assess the condition of the hull.
2006-built, India-flagged, 9,956 gt SSL Kolkata is owned and managed by Shreyas Shipping & Logistics of Mumbai, India. ISM manager is TW Ship Management Pvt Ltd of Mumbai, India. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Shreyas Shipping & Logistics Ltd.