The Madras High Court on Friday gave an injunction restraining oil tanker Prathibha Cauvery from leaving the Chennai port, once it was brought there. On Friday, the tanker carrying 360 tonnes of oil started drifting towards coastal areas, leading to panic that oil could leak in case of any accident.
Meanwhile the bodies of three sailors, who had jumped from the vessel into the sea to save their lives, were found on Marina Beach and Napier Bridge, along the coast.
Earlier, in a petition, Sankara Narayanan, brother of Anand Mohandoss, one of the deceased sailors whose body was washed ashore on Friday, had said Prathibha Cauvery wasn’t sea-worthy. He alleged the company that ran the ship did not provide food or salaries to its crew, adding if proper food had been provided, his brother could have lived through the calamity.
The Japanese-made Indian flag vessel had 37 members on board when it ran aground off the city coast, owing to high-velocity winds before the landfall of cyclone Nilam on Wednesday evening.
After reviewing the situation late Thursday evening, Shipping Minister G K Vasan said a detail inquiry had been ordered and a rescue vessel was being brought from Mumbai to bring Prathiba Cauvery to the port. The emergency tow vehicle would reach Chennai in a day or two. “There are no indications of an oil slippage,” Vasan said.
Prathibha Cauvery is the second large vessel to run aground near Chennai in about a year. When Cyclone Thane hit Tamil Nadu last December, the OSM Arena had run aground near Marina Beach.