Divers hired to plug the leak in cargo vessel MV Rak failed to do so on Thursday due to the sea being rather rough. Coast Guard officials, however, said that the oil leak from the sunken ship has considerably reduced.
A shipping official said that Oil and Natural Gas Commission, on being requested, have sent their diving support vessel with divers to the site.
“They have pinpointed the wreck with three markers. Diving operations will commence when weather and tide conditions are favourable,” an official said.
The shipping directorate has explicitly instructed the insurance company of MV Rak to revert with a de-bunkering plan for the residual amount of bunkers present on board.
On Thursday, Director General of Shipping S B Agnihotri held a review meeting with coastal state authorities and other agencies.
The situation report on the oil pollution and the corrective steps being taken to clean up affected areas, both at sea as well as ashore, were discussed.
The Coast Guard said that a helicopter surveillance was carried out on Thursday and that the spill has reduced considerably. The trail of the spill was observed up to nine nautical miles.
Two Coast Guard vessels, including oil pollution response vessel Samudra Prahari, are standing by to deal with the minor pollution observed on Thursday.
In addition, a Dornier sortie was undertaken to scan the area. Usage of dispersants has also reduced. However, four oil patches were seen about five nautical miles off the Mahalaxmi Temple and INS Kunjali.
According to Coast Guard, the estimated quantity of oil that leaked out from the sunken vessel could be around 150 metric tonnes.
Meanwhile, salvagers are gearing up to refloat MT Pavit which is grounded off Juhu. Officials said that it will be done by this weekend.
Date: 12 Aug 2011 Source: www.mumbaimirror.com