On July 29th the crew of the Motor Tanker Pavit made a Mayday call off the coast of Oman and were quickly rescued by local authorities but no attempt was made to salvage the ship which authorities assumed had sunk. A month later the same vessel washed ashore on a popular beach in Mumbai India.
India’s Director General Shipping, SB Agnihotri, said an investigation had been launched into how the MT Pavit ran aground on Sunday. “We will in our inquiry be looking at this particular issue,” he said on Tuesday amid national concerns about maritime security, which had been overhauled after terrorists used ships to enter Mumbai and launch a deadly attack on the city in 2008. “We are looking at these 100 hours when the detection has not happened.”
While the authorities did not take action until hours after the ship grounded, the Mumbai Police did receive a call about the tanker from local Fishermen who spotted the 77-metre-long vessel sailing without lights and drifting, at 10 pm on Saturday, July 30.
Work has begun to salvage the Panama-flagged ship, which can carry up to 1,000 tonnes of cargo, and contact has been made with the vessel’s owners and insurers, says Indian authorities. Top priority for the salvage is the recovery of the 10 tonnes of fuel oil and 10 tonnes of gas oil the vessel was carrying but no signs of a spill have been reported at this time and because the ship merely drifted local salvage teams are hopeful that the vessel can be pulled out, undamaged, during the next high tide.
The Indian Navy, who is responsible for the country’s maritime security, has been ordered to submit a report and identify the reason this ship drifted so long undetected.