On our trip around in Mumbai on Sunday, we did a quick trip to the Juhu Beach. Or well, at least it was planned to be a quick trip. Little could we know that “half” of the population in Mumbai had the same plan as we had. Could one reason for the vast number of people roaming to the beach be that a ship stranded there last week?
I must admit that I have not read the news that much last few days, so that a big ship was stranded in Mumbai was actually new to me.
On June 11, the 9,000-tonne MV Wisdom was being towed by MV Seabulk Plover from Colombo to a ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat. The towing cable snapped off Mumbai’s coast, near the Bandra-Worli sea link, and MV Wisdom drifted to Juhu beach. Since Thursday, salvage workers have been attempting to remove the ship from Juhu. On Saturday, the ship moved 3 to 4 degrees.
Officials have asked the public to stay clear of the vessel for their own safety and to allow workers attempting to salvage the ship to function without hindrance. However, crowds have been flocking to the beach, with many getting dangerously close to the vessel. With Sunday being a holiday, thousands showed up to gawk at the vessel and many youths frolicked in the waters near it. We could see a police car driving around at the beach, trying to force people away from the sea & ship. The problem was just that the police car was at the beach, while the most eager people were actually out in the water to see the ship from as close range as possible! And the police could off course do nothing about them. To me the whole police work seemed a bit stupid. Driving around at the beach while lashing out at people to try to get them to move does not seem to be the right way to do it. Haven’t they seen “Baywatch” in India?
Officials reiterated that there was no fear of any oil or cargo-related pollution. As the ship was being taken to be dismantled, the vessel had no cargo or fuel onboard, reducing the possibility of any immediate threat to the city’s marine ecology.
Rumors said that it was an attempt to try to get the ship of on Sunday, but that they couldn’t manage it. It is said that there will be a need of 4,5 meters of high tide in order to get the ship to float again!
India had a recent brush with a cargo vessel running aground. In August last year, the Nand Aparajita cargo barge hit rocks and was stranded off the Lakshadweek coast. After strenuous efforts over months by the Coast Guard and Navy, the ship was finally salvaged.
And isn’t it a bit funny that the name of the ship that is stranded is actually “Wisdom”. I don’t think it has been that wise to tow the ship if you don’t have solid ropes… Latest news in papers today is that they will try to get the ship of at July 3rd, so let’s see…
Talk to you soon!