The captain of ports (CoP) is in the process of replacing its tug vessel and patrolling speed boat, which are more than thirty-years-old.
A tug vessel is used to tow away vessels stuck mid-sea or washed ashore due to technical problems such as in the event of failure of an engine.
Captain of ports James Braganza said the present vessel is inadequate to tow away bigger vessels in distress.
With regard to the new vessel, Braganza said, "It will be state-of-the-art. It will help to pull away any bigger vessels." The pulling capacity of the present vessel is only four metric ton bollard pull whereas the new vessel which is being built at the cost of 5.65 crore, is 12 metric ton bollard pull. It is being built at Mandovi dry dock in Pilgaon village.
Steven Braganza, technical superintendent at CoP, said a tug vessel with higher capacity is needed as vessels that venture into inland waters are of big sizes.
"Today, normal barges are 2,000 tonners whereas a few years ago they were 600-800 tonners." he said.
A year ago, a cruise vessel with passengers had an engine failure in the Mandovi river basin. A disaster was averted as CoP managed to bring the vessel ashore with the help of two boats.
The new tug vessel will have a fire fighter mounted on it – the facility not available with CoP. It will be ready within 240 days.
The CoP has also ordered a new high speed boat for patrolling. The vessel is under construction at Goa shipyard in Vasco at the cost of 2.63 crore.
Though CoP has a speed boat it is too small to meet its present day requirements. "It's speed is 4-5 knots while we need to check vessels cruising at the speed of 8-10 knots," he added.
The number of private vessels cruising inland waters has also gone up. In the absence of a right speed boat the port authorities find it difficult to keep tabs on over speeding vessels.
The new speed boat will be ready in 300 days. Further it plans to replace its other outdated equipment but in the next phase of replacement. [TOI]