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Thursday, August 1, 2013

M.V. Yashwi .... earlier OSM Arena - finally moves out of Chennai !!!!

The vessel was forced to move out of Wharf as it could not pay berthing charges and it anchored at Marina beach appeared as though it was cruelly waiting for the fate……. From Cradle to grave  …. Insurance completes…. There can be policy coverage right from the moment ‘keel’ is laid down… the construction, the launching – in fact christening a vessel and launching it are considered very significant and are celebrated by owners and builders of vessels ~ the sight of a new vessel sliding with stern first down an inclined slipway is a much celebrated event  ~ but not the funeral voyage where it is sold on its net weight i.e., the  LDT.  Light Displacement tonnage (LDT) : Displacement is the actual total weight of the vessel. It is often expressed in long tons or in metric tons, and is calculated simply by multiplying the volume of the hull below the waterline (ie. the volume of water it is displacing) by the density of the water. 

For a morning walker, Marina beach offers many comforts.. there is the cool sea breeze, the lovely sight of rising Sun, young, old, fast, slow, and people of varied hues indulging in chit-chatting, eating and drinking the various health drinks ! that are sold on pavements.  – amidst the ocean of things, there are the fishing boats tearing out the silence of the morning,  bigger ships – ships  anchored in the middle of sea, ~ as you imagine the reasons for its being there.

For the past month and more, I have been ogling at the vessel in ‘outer anchorage’ – actually in the Marina – from anywhere you look, from the Labour statue till lighthouse – it would appear that the vessel is in a straight line view ! ~ the more one  saw, the more one felt bad about its future and condition.  For Chennaites – a ship is nothing new – you see them daily in the Bay of Bengal..

…….. Chennai Port might not have been having any similar thinking ~ perhaps it could have been cursing its fate of allowing the vessel and then securing its arrest – the vessel was under its control but they wanted to get rid of it -  with  no money flowing and none caring, it was becoming a bigger liability  - it got mired in to legal cases in various Courts and slowly the crew also felt it was not seaworthy to be in. 

It is the  ill-fated South Korean flagged Bulk carrier cargo ship with IMO No. 8411334 and dimensions of 190 M length and 32 m beam with  call sign  - DSOC5 -  ‘OSM Arena’ got mired in to troubles one after another and got struck below the bow in muddy waters literally and legally.  Chennai was not the happiest of its ‘port of call’ when it arrived here in Jan 2010.  ~ with many litigants braying for its blood, there  was the announcement of sale but no takers and perhaps the vessel forgot its primary quality of sailing……  then came the ‘cyclone Thane’  in Dec 2011 -  moved the unfortunate OSM Arena from the outer anchorage..With efforts of Madras Port it was salvaged; by that time Chennai Port  was already cursing its fate of allowing the vessel and then securing its arrest ~ and for the successful salvage they perhaps got no remuneration.  The last thing that sailors would do ~ of abandoning the vessel, had to be performed as the crew left the vessel OSM Arena citing distress. 

As the vessel lay in wait, somebody cried for an euthanasia…. Now it is not to be seen – on July 28th or about the vessel got towed towards Chittagong ship-breaking yard in Bangladesh.  News reports suggest that the new owners have agreed to pay Rs.17.10 crore towards the settlement of dues of all stakeholders. They have also changed the Korean-flagged cargo vessel’s name to M.V. Yashwi.  The plans to take to Alang in Gujarat was changed due to heavy rains lashing Western coast… thus Chittagone became the alternative.  The last journey is not on its power - declared as a dead vessel, OSM Arena has proceeded towards Chittagong ship breaking yard with the help of tug Golfo De Bengala.  The vessel was battered legally and physically too – it lost one of its anchors in the Thane effect.  

From OSM Arena to M.V. Yashwi, it has brought its fate closer and faster.  There was growing concern on its physical safety ahd possible damage to environment that it could cause.  So its moving out of Chennai brought out sigh of relief for some as the departure was necessitated by warning from the Navy and Coast Guard regarding inclement weather. It is a ghost with no crew reportedly on board while the tug has 15.  It is reported that DF Shipping has posted an Emergency Towing Vessel on the eastern coast aimed at providing timely help to vessels pushed into distress by rough weather and their stranded crew.

It is stated that an offshore tug owned by the Shipping Corporation of India, C.P Srivastava is currently berthed in the south quay of Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) and its services will be available till October 2. Some reports suggest that the Port had due of more 4.50 crores from the vessel which perhaps were settled upon its sale.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

31st July 2013.

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