INDIA. Mumbai: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has spotted an unmanned barge grounded along the Palshet coast off Guhagar beach near Jaigad harbour in Ratnagiri district of coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra.
The non-self-propelled barge spotted on Guhagar beach on Tuesday had no fuel on board. It was being towed from Colombo to Djibouti by the “Tug ASL Osprey” (an offshore supply ship) with some heavy machinery onboard.
The tow broke up due to rough sea conditions, and machinery fell off the barge, causing the barge to turn upside down on July 8, about 200 nautical miles from the Indian Coast.
A Coast Guard spotted the barge during helicopter surveillance when it was expected that would reach close to the spot where the JSW Jaigarh ports, Angre Port Private limited, and Sande Lavgan port are located. After drifting approximately 200 nautical miles in an easterly direction towards the Indian coast, the barge finally grounded at Guhagar beach on July 19.
On July 10, the “Tug ASL Osprey” reported that the barge was likely sinking. Given the possibility of submergence, the Indian Coast Guard issued a navigational warning to all mariners and kept an eye out for the submerged barge.
The Indian Coast Guard confirmed that the vessel was not carrying any fuel and that there was no danger of marine pollution in the area. The Indian Coast Guard had already notified state authorities about the situation. Now the Tug Marigold and Salvour belonging to M/s Brand Marine Consultant, Mumbai, a global marine consultancy, has been arranged by the owner of M/s Capitol Navigation PTE Ltd, Singapore. The tugs have been positioned near the location for salvage of the grounded barge, an ICG statement said.
However, the grounded barge created panic among local fishermen who suspected heavy oil spillage from it, which would contaminate the waters and will affect their fishing activities. But the Maharashtra Maritime Board officials dispelled the rumors.