Mumbai: Divers to get Ark Deck Bar floatel back in shape soon
Racing against time before the monsoon arrives, a crack team of salvers is repairing the broken Ark Deck Bar so that it can be towed away in time
The salvage team managed to make the first repair to the grounded vessel yesterday
Six days after the floating hotel Ark Deck Bar hit a rock and got grounded in the Arabian Sea, a group of divers managed to make the very first repair yesterday. The salvage team plugged a hole from where water was gushing in. Today, the divers will go back in and fix other gaps they spotted on Thursday.
The flooded interiors of the ship
The divers on Thursday managed to plug a hole in the vessel with metal plates and rubber strips
The salvage team had initially faced a setback during the first diving expedition on Monday, due to strong currents. However, the divers finally found access to the ship on Wednesday and Thursday, when they conducted a thorough inspection and assessment of damage. "Today [Thursday], the divers wanted to see how much of the vessel is grounded, how much is underwater, and the extent of damage. The rock that hit the vessel is now under it," said Irfan Shirodkar, Ark Deck Bar captain, who accompanied the divers last morning.
One of the upper decks that the divers gained access to
The divers inspected the vessel and even sealed a hole in the ship from where water was flooding in. The team used metal plates to plug the hole, and placed 8-inch rubber strips around the metal plates to hold them in position. The experts have identified another opening that they will plug today, along with fixing the ship's main entry door, said an official.
The salvage team are using metal plates to seal openings on the ship's hull
One of the divers who went on board the grounded vessel told mid-day, "The metal plates will be covered with an 8-inch rubber strip from all the sides, along with angular support to tighten the plate and fix the door in its position." A supervisor added, "The sea water has swollen the doors and windows. Wind force and water currents have also caused damage. We will seal the gaps and repair the damage, after which we will survey the vessel again for further details."
The divers have identified openings and damaged doors and windows from where water is gushing inside the vessel
Storm clouds gather
The salvage team will have to work quickly, warned Dr Vinay Deshmukh, retired marine scientist from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. "The vessel will be difficult to salvage after the onset of monsoon in the next couple of days, with gusty winds and heavy waves. Swells will make it impossible to tow the vessel. The ship did not have any hazardous cargo, so there is no impact on marine biology."
Today, the divers will plug this opening
Kookie Singh, co-owner of Ark Deck Bar, said, "We have got SMIT and another company, Global Diving, along with local divers. Three agencies are working now. MMB is okay with the plan too. So, everything is going ahead in the legal and planned way."
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Get romantic in the middle of the sea at Ark Deck bar!