Visakhapatnam: The Mercantile Marine Department has given clearance for repatriation of 15-member Bangladeshi crew of mv Maa to their motherland.
The clearance was received after completion of probe into the circumstances which led to running aground of the cargo vessel near a beachfront park here on October 13.
The accident which triggered a lot of curiosity among the public reportedly took place as one of the two anchors broke following cyclonic wind pressure leading to its drifting to the shore from anchorage at Visakhapatnam Port.
“Following clearance from the authorities we are making arrangements for flight journey of the stranded crew to Dhaka from here via Kolkata observing Covid-19 protocols,” Bhupesh M, chairman & managing director of Navship Marine Services Pvt. Ltd, agents for the ship owners, told Odisha Channel.
The consent of PNI Insurance Club, which insured the ship by the owners of Japan-made ship, has been obtained for the repatriation of the crew in a few days.
The refloating of the ship on November 14, which came here to supply fly ash to Mongla Port, to Hindustan Shipyard Ltd.’s dry dock for repairs was stopped following denial of permission to use entrance channel of Visakhapatnam Port by its Deputy Conservator. Following this, the ship owners declared that they were abandoning the ship.
“We are insisting on the agent and insurance firm for arranging repatriation of the crew in a chartered flight as per international norms,” B.V. Ratnam, Inspector of London-headquartered International Transport Workers’ Federation, said.
After the running aground of the ship, the ship owners engaged Gill Marines for removal of fuels to prevent oil spillage and Resolve Marines to advise the salvaging of the ship.
Minister for Tourism Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said subject to clearances the State Government would try to explore converting the abandoned ship into a floating restaurant.