Mumbai, June 19: Salvage efforts to tow away cargo ship MV Wisdom, grounded near Juhu beach, were suspended Sunday for a fortnight due to operational constraints, a Directorate General of Shipping official said.
The vessel went adrift June 11 from its tug that was towing it from Colombo to Alang in Gujarat, where it was to be broken as scrap. It is now grounded around five km on the south-west of Mumbai’s Juhu beach.
‘Due to engine trouble in the lead tug there were operational constraints in taking up salvage efforts today (Sunday),’ the official said.
‘The efforts are therefore abandoned till next spring tide after a fortnight, when attempts to refloat the vessel will be made afresh. There is no apprehension of any oil or cargo-related pollution,’ he added.
A huge 70-tonne tugboat and another ship were engaged in the operation to pull MV Wisdom, the 9,000-tonne scrap ship, out of the beach area into the deep sea and anchor it at a safe spot away from Juhu beach.
Mumbai authorities faced anxious moments when the massive ship drifted dangerously close to the Bandra-Worli Sealink, the 5.6-km cable stay bridge in the Arabian Sea which is the latest showpiece of India’s marine engineering.
Later, strong waves pushed it towards the Juhu beach.
The scrap ship instantly became a new but temporary attraction at the beach with hordes of people flocking to see it and click pictures with the grounded ship in the background.