Tradewinds – “Scrap mafia” moves in

(Written by Gary Dixon)

6 June 2013 - Organised gangs are cutting chunks of steel from the derelict bulker Black Rose off India as its removal appears no closer to being realised.

The New Indian Express reported that the “scrap mafia” are heading out in boats and slicing bits off the hull using gas cutters, despite the area being declared a no-navigation zone.

The black marketeers are selling pieces for more than INR 100,000 ($1,800).

A large portion of the ship’s body is already missing.

The 38,000-dwt Mongolian-flagged vessel (built 1977) remains partially submerged off a beach near Paradip port after sinking while carrying iron ore in 2009.

A trustee of the Paradip Port Trust, Sudhakar Mantray, told the paper that despite intervention from the Orissa high court, nothing has been done so far to remove the vessel.

“As a result, the scrap dealers are having a free hand. Frequent thefts of the scrap have also raised questions on coastal security,” he said.

One crewman died in the sinking.

It is thought excess moisture in the iron ore cargo due to the heavy monsoons may have caused the bulker to list and then sink.

The Equasis database listed the Black Rose as owned by Black Rose Maritime and managed by Pacmar Shipping, both based at the same address in Singapore.