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Goa seeks help to salvage naphtha from stranded tanker
Panaji, Oct 29 (IANS) The Goa government has requested the defence agencies to provide helicopters to retrieve nearly 2,500 tons of naphtha and other fuel from an unmanned tanker, which ran aground off the Panaji shoreline on Saturday, days after it drifted from the mid sea, during last week’s stormy weather caused by cyclone Kyarr.
The chemical tanker Nu Shi Nalini, which has now lodged itself on a rock shelf, around two km from the Panaji coastline, cannot be towed in the current circumstances, according to experts.
Multiple state and central agencies are trying to salvage the naphtha gas and 50 tons of oil and 19 tons of diesel, into other tankers, a task which is proving to be increasingly difficult on account of unfavourable maritime conditions.
"Two teams with Tug with a total 600 metres of a reel of boom tried to deploy them, but failed due to undercurrent and returned. Most likely, the booms around the vessel will be deployed tomorrow early morning," a spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office said on Tuesday. Booms are an inflatable device, used as a part of a contingency strategy to contain oil spills in water.
"Chief Secretary has asked the defence authorities to provide a helicopter to drop heavy pumps and equipment on the ship. This operation will be undertaken possibly tomorrow afternoon," the spokesperson also said.
The ship ran aground on Saturday on the rocky shelf and has not moved its position since. According to the officials involved in the joint operation, no oil spill has yet been reported in the vicinity of the vessel, even as the Indian Coast Guard has stationed one oil spill response vessel on-site in case of emergency.
The unmanned tanker was anchored five nautical miles off Goa on the directions of the Goa-based Mormugao Port Trust and customs officials, before the vessel first started drifting towards the shore of the state capital, due to the strong winds and rough seas, last Thursday.