India: SSL Kolkata Grounding, Updates

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(Image Courtesy: Maritime Bulletin)

Shreyas Shipping and Logistics Limited (known as Shreyas), operators of container vessel SSL Kolkata, have reported that the vessel remains aground in soft mud some 7.5 nautical miles off the Indian Sunderbans, Kolkata, West Bengal.

A team from OSRL has now arrived on site and is the process of managing the counter pollution response with crews of various small local craft locally. These vessels can more easily approach the site of the vessel at its grounded position than heavy plant given the conditions locally.

The salvors of the vessel Smit have also mobilised their SMIT Borneo platform which is currently en route to the casualty site to assist with remaining bunker, cargo, and debris removal operations

This follows the explosion and fire in the cargo area on board the SSL Kolkata on 13th June and its subsequent grounding. After fighting the fire the crew were eventually forced to leave the vessel due to the intensity of the conditions.  All 22 crew members were unharmed.

The vessel has developed a list to starboard, with the deck now part submerged. The removal of bunker fuel and cargo remain a priority, with the primary aim of protecting the marine environment and preventing any pollution from cargo or fuel oil. A specialist clean-up contractor Le Floch Depollution, have also been retained and are currently on site in the event of an oil leakage.

“Shreyas takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and with partner agencies and contractors is making every effort to ensure that this situation is brought to a safe and timely conclusion, despite the very challenging monsoon season conditions which are currently being faced,” the company said

The company continues to work in close cooperation with all concerned parties including the Indian Government, it added.

Sea News, July 13