Ship forced to anchor at sea due to non-removal of sediment in port

Vizhinjam International Seaport. Credit: Google maps

A ship with scheduled docking in the wharf of Vizhinjam, situated in the state of Kerala, India, was made to anchor at sea as the captain was not informed by the port department about large deposits of mud sediment in the shipping channel, local Indian media reports.

The ship, Indira Point, informed the port officials of Vizhinjam port in advance of the ship’s intent to berth and received clearance from the authorities. As the ship neared the shore and tried to enter the port through the Seaward wharf, they encountered a 4.5 foot-high mud wall in the shipping channel.

The port officials had also failed to mention that there was a toppled tug, a coast guard vessel and another tug owned by the Adani port company already in the wharf.

As the ship could not anchor near the port, due to fears of the 72 feet-long ship getting stuck on the mud wall, six crew members were transported ashore by boat.

The port authorities made no effort to remove the mud sediment in the shipping channel, however, this incident highlights the importance of maintaining dredging operations in port to avoid such incidents.

The ship’s captain and crew voiced their displeasure at the incident and it has been reported that they shall file a complaint to the shipping ministry regarding the failure of the port authorities.