Drifting Vietnamese ship towed to port
HCM CITY — A Vietnamese cargo ship, named Anh Son, whose rudder broke down in Indian waters two weeks ago and has been drifting since was expected to be towed to the Kolkatta Port in India yesterday.
Phan The Vuong, director of the Hai Phong-based Anh Son Shipping Trading Co Ltd, which owns Anh Son, told the media on Tuesday that the Kolkata port authority has allowed the Vietnamese vessel to enter at the request of Viet Nam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as guarantees given by insurance agencies.
Anh Son Co. has hired an Indian firm to tow the cargo ship to the Kolkata Port for US$101,000, Vuong said.
The towing of Anh Son was delayed over an insurance dispute. Vuong said last week his company had hired an Indian rescue company to tow the ship to port but the ship's insurer refused to pay the towing cost of US$250,000.
The Indian port authorities wanted a guarantee from the insurer before it would allow the vessel to be towed in.
The unidentified insurer had refused to foot the bill saying the cause of the accident was an "unexpected fault" and not covered by the insurance agreement.
According to the Viet Nam Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC Viet Nam), the 4,374 DWT Anh Son was carrying wood from Hai Phong to India when its rudder broke down 32 nautical miles off the coast of India on June 26.
The ship, with 15 crew on board, had been drifting in rough seas since.
At the request of MRCC Viet Nam, its Indian counterpart in Chennai sent planes and rescue vessels to the distressed ship, and reported it was 30 nautical miles off the coast, and that the crew were safe and in normal health. — VNS