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Cochin port authorities to re-float grounded oil tanker

Mumbai: Cochin port authorities have begun a second effort to re-float the 5,5178gt MT Ratna Shalini that ran aground at the port of South Indian Cochin on Saturday. The vessel, which is owned by India Steam Ship Company, was reported to have been carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil to BPCL-Kochi Refinery at the time of the accident. There was no oil spilled as the mud in the entry channel cushioned the force of the impact and the authorities are confident that the vessel will be re-floated with no damage to the marine environment.

About 15,000 tonnes of oil have been transferred to smaller vessels this morning in an effort to lighten the weight of the tanker, which will then be guided to a berth by tug vessels. The port had unsuccessfully tried to pull the vessel to the port entry channel on Saturday using five tugs.   [19/11/07]

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