SAFETY | Indian Navy to stop escorting ships in Mumbai harbour from Monday

MUMBAI —  The Indian Navy will stop providing escort to ships coming in and out of the Mumbai harbour from Monday necessitated in the wake of collision of two foreign cargo ships off the port Aug 7, an official said.

A decision to this effect was taken after a high-level review meeting chaired by shipping secretary K Mohandas with the officials of the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, and representatives of other maritime organisations.

Panamanian cargo carrier, MSC Chitra collided with the St Kitts-vessel MV Khalijia-III near the Mumbai harbour spilling oil and chemicals from its containers.

Sunday will be the final day when naval escort would be provided to large ships and bulk carriers, the Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS) said.

From Monday, the salvers of the Panamanian vessel, MSC Chitra shall survey the shipping channel and also provide escorts, it said.

The salvers are also making efforts to ensure that the September 1 deadline for the start of the passenger ferry services from Mumbai to the mainland and back is adhered to.

Meanwhile, the navy escorted five large vessels out of and five into Mumbai Port Trust and another 10 out and nine into the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on Saturday.

In the past 12 days, the navy has escorted 126 large vessels out and piloted in 132 vessels for both the ports. However, medium-sized vessels with draft of up to 7 metres, and other smaller vessels continue to sail the channel without escort.

Source: The Times of India

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