Stakeholders to take a call on floatel, Ark Deck Bar's salvage plan

May 29, 2018, 07:07 IST | Suyash Karangutkar

After diving expedition is foiled by high tide and currents, stakeholders to take a call on salvage plan for MV Avior in a meeting today

Divers assessed the area around the grounded vessel near the sea link, but were unable to dive into the choppy waters. Pic/Shadab Khan
Divers assessed the area around the grounded vessel near the sea link, but were unable to dive into the choppy waters. Pic/Shadab Khan

As the first step in salvaging the grounded MV Avior, which housed the Ark Deck Bar, a group of five divers from the Singapore-based SMIT salvage company surveyed the crash site early on Monday morning. They were forced to return to the jetty without getting a closer look, however, as they could not dive in the strong currents and tide conditions.

The team ventured out on a local boat from the dock at 9 am, and returned in the next 30 minutes. In that time, the team, accompanied by Rahil Karbhare, second captain with Ark Deck Bar, took stock of the situation and the area where the vessel is grounded.

'Couldn't do much'
Speaking to mid-day, Karbhare said, "They inspected the vessel and its condition. They returned to the jetty half an hour later, as they couldn't do much due to the water currents."

A Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) official concurred, "This morning, the divers had gone on the ship to assess the entry point. They never dived into the water, as the currents and tide were not in our favour. They are now making the method statement and are identifying the asset that is needed to salvage the vessel. Once that is done, the operation will begin."

On Monday, executives from SMIT and representatives of the grounded vessel's owner met MMB officials. Sources in the MMB said that the owners have also given a go-ahead to SMIT, and that another meeting has been called on Tuesday to review the plan.

"We had called the salvers, the owner and everybody concerned with the operation for a meeting today. The team has started their work, and are currently identifying the asset and equipment to refloat the vessel. They are already on the job," informed the MMB official.

"Now that an initial assessment is done, the engineers and naval architects are chalking out a plan to refloat the vessel safely," he added.

Crucial meeting today
Upon being asked about when the process would commence, the official stated that the decision would be taken in today's meeting. "The planning has commenced and they are waiting to source and deploy the assets, such as tuck board, pontoons and other essentials that will also suit the weather. We have called them for a meeting tomorrow for an update. It is not a one-day job. The actual work will be seen once the assets are deployed and calculations are complete," he said.

Samyukkta Singh, the owner of Ark Deck and Bar, told this reporter, "We are eagerly waiting for them to make a decision and get the vessel out. The decision will be made by the owner of the vessel, the MMB and the insurance company."

When mid-day contacted the owner of the vessel, he said was out of town and would only comment upon his return to India.

Story so far
mid-day had reported how 13 crew members of the Ark Deck and Bar had a miraculous escape on Friday evening, after MV Avior hit a rock and was grounded. A day later, the Ark commissioned SMIT salvage company, which had previously assisted in the recovery of MSC Chitra in 2010.

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