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Sunday, Dec 26, 2004

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Dredger salvaged, brought to wharf

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, DEC. 25. A dredger that ran aground in the shallow waters of the Arabian Sea after it developed a leak yesterday was salvaged early today after divers located a crack in the forward side of the vessel.

The crack was temporarily plugged and the vessel, Kamal-25, brought to the harbour this morning. The dredger came alongside Ernakulam Wharf at 7.30 a.m. Cochin Port Trust officials said that it would require at least a week to assess the damage and do proper repairs. The repairs, they said, can be done here itself.

The vessel, owned by Kandla-based Jaisu Shipping Company, had been dredging the Kochi shipping channel for the last several days. It developed a leak while returning to resume dredging after dumping the sludge in the outer sea at 9 a.m. yesterday. The pump room of this hopper suction dredger (HSD) was soon flooded and the vessel ran aground in a shallow area about four kilometres off the shore. The vessel was bailed out using nine pumps of three to five horsepower.

Divers located a crack of four-centimetre diameter between the hopper tank and the pump room in the forward side of the dredger.

According to officials, the bottom door closing system of the dredger was damaged.

Port authorities said that the annual dredging operation would not be affected. The shipping company has offered to send another dredger, probably Kamal-29, to continue the operation. It is expected to start dredging from Monday.

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