Goa fears about ammunition containers

PTI, PANAJI | 26 June 2013 23:23 IST

Goa is keeping a close watch on its coast, for containers carrying arms and ammunition which reportedly fell into the sea from a ship stranded in mid-sea.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the prime cause for concern is the possibility of arms laden containers from the ship being washed ashore. 

M V MOL Comfort, a container carrier owned by M/s Mitsui Osaka Lines Japan, laden with 4,268 containers which was reportedly on a voyage from Colombo to Jeddah broke up in mid-sea. 

On June 24, a part of the ship was reported at a distance of about 530 miles from the Goa coast, drifting at a speed of around 2.5 knots. 

Parrikar said that there is a possibility of the arms-laden containers washing up on the Goa shoreline.

"The Singapore-based salvage company Smit Salvage Pte Ltd is in the process of securing both the parts of the ship which drifted apart and towing them away to safety," Goa government's secretary for ports, Hage Batt said. \

The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy are monitoring the situation closely, Batt said. All efforts are being made to prevent parts of the vessel from entering the India's Exclusive Economic Zone, which is 300 nautical miles from the coast, he said.

Chances of the vessel being salvaged are good and there is no cause for concern, since the vessel is still in international waters, far away from the Goa coast, Batt said.

However, local authorities and security agencies have been alerted to be vigilant for any part of the ship drifting towards the coast and be prepared for any eventualities, Batt added. 

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Leave the job to the Coast Guard and the Navy. They are qualified and capable of handing this type of jobs.

- Francisco, Goa | 27 th June 2013 01:29