The first phase of operation to salvage the 3000-tonne Bangladeshi ship MV Maa that ran aground in Visakhapatnam, India has begun.
The process began on Tuesday as a salvor company engaged by the owners deployed high pumps to pump out the fuel.
The ship ran aground near Tenneti park in Visakhapatnam on October 13 carrying 40 tonnes of fuel oil, reported The Hindu.
Surrender Gill of Gill Marines leading the first phase of the salvage operation said the Ship has no power on its own, which is why generators have been deployed to supply power to the ship and begin the pumping of the fuel.
"Pipelines have been laid from the ship to the road point and the oil will be pumped into mobile tankers. On the first day, we ran a trial run and was successfully able to pump out about 2,000 litres of fuel," said Gill.
It is estimated that about 200 to 300 litres will be pumped out per hour and the company expects to complete the job in four to five days, working in all the three shifts.
The distance of the temporary pipeline from the ship to the road point is around 500 metres, but since the gradient is steep, the company is contemplating moving the mobile tankers to the Jodugudlapalem temple side on Wednesday.
"This may increase the length of the pipeline from 500 to 700 metres, but the gradient is flat and thus it will not put much pressure on the pumps and we can draw more in an hour," he said.
Once the fuel is drained out, the ship will become lighter by 40 tonnes and also the danger of oil spill while pulling it out using high-power tugs will cease to exist. After this operation is completed, the second phase of towing it out during high tide will begin.
The salvage of the ship has gained importance, after environment activists, raised a hue and cry and urged the authorities concerned to take up the operation on a war-footing.