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MSC attributes Mumbai collision blame to Khalijia 3 owner

MSC attributes Mumbai collision blame to Khalijia 3 owner

Mumbai:  Geneva headquartered  Mediterranean Shipping Company has stated that its vessel  MSC Chitra was not to blame for the collision  with the merchant vessel Khalijia on Saturday. In a statement to the press, MSC said that it has performed a preliminary review of the vessel's black box recorder. It states "While the precise circumstances of the collision will be determined by an inquiry by the Mumbai authorities...from the recording it is clear that the MSC Chitra was properly proceeding outbound within the main navigation channel when the Khalijia 3, with salvors' escort tugs in attendance, left what we believe was the Khalijia 3's anchorage position, and crossed the fairway ahead of the MSC Chitra heading generally southbound and turning to port.

"For reasons not known to us the Khalijia 3 unexpectedly continued turning to port, and came back to cross the fairway again, now heading in a generally northbound direction, and struck the MSC Chitra on the MSC Chitra's port side while the MSC Chitra was still properly navigating in the main channel. Therefore, it would appear that under the rules of navigation the Khalijia 3 was significantly in error. We of course await the results of the full inquiry in due course."

The incident led to an oil spill and container recovery operation at Mumbai harbour leading to the closure of Jawaharlal Nehru port (JNPT) and Mumbai Port  until completion of the operation - estimated Sunday. Vessels are currently choosing to detour and sail towards Gujarat to berth at ports like Mundra and Pipavav. [12/08/10]