The process to repatriate the stranded crew of Bangladeshi vessel mv Maa from Vizag (Visakhapatnam), India has begun and they may return within the next seven days.
The 15-member crew stranded on board the vessel since it ran aground near Tenneti Park beach after it drifted ashore due to strong currents in the second week of October, reports the New Indian Express.
Indian Mercantile Marine Marine (MMD) department officials have recorded the statements of the crew and local agent of the ship, Navship Marine Services CMD M Bhupesh.
According to Bhupesh, the crew will be sent to Bangladesh within a week.
He said, "The crew earlier asked them to shift to a hotel in view of the cyclone threat. But since the weather was not so rough in Vizag, it was decided not to shift them."
Once the formalities are over, they will proceed to their destination after clearance from the principal officer in Chennai to whom MMD officials will submit a report.
He said they were arranging food and other daily needs for the crew and there was no problem for them.
With regard to the fate of the abandoned ship, a decision will be taken by the shipping insurer, Protection Indemnity Club. The 80-meter-long Bangladesh ship drifted ashore on October 12 night after the vessel parted her anchor chain due to strong winds. The vessel anchored at anchorage point in September in ballast condition to load 2800 MT of quartzite for Port of Mongla.
CMD of Gill Marines Surendra Singh Gill said they have transferred about 1.49 litres of fuel from the vessel on a priority basis to prevent any oil spill which might cause an environmental disaster.
After emptying the oil from the vessel, Reserve Marines had begun operations to refloat the vessel on October 14. However, at the last minute, the shipowner called off the salvage operation and served the abandonment notice after port officials insisted on IRS (Indian Register of Shipping) clearance for entry inside the port area.
PI Club and port authorities will make a decision on what will be done with regard to the ship, Bhupesh said.
He also said that there are at least four vessels ferrying cargo between Bangladesh ports and Visakhapatnam regularly.