There is a high risk of cracks developing to the unmanned tanker that got drifted away from Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) due to gale winds and heavy rain. The vessel is stuck just 800 metres off the Marivel beach near Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula after it hit some rocks.
Though the tanker was very still and there was no movement when this correspondent visited the site on Friday morning, later in the evening, the front side of the tanker was seen moving up and down and hitting against the rocks repeatedly due to high waves.
Local fishermen residing in the area gathered at the beach in fear and anxiety. They claimed that there was not even a single official from the district administration who briefed them about the possibility of any disaster due to the stranded tanker. The villagers expressed concern as the vessel is carrying a highly-inflammable chemical.
“We just thought that this is a ship in distress. We panicked when my son came to know through Facebook that this vessel carries something called naphtha. We are worried as we are not aware of what it is and how dangerous it could be; we have no information,” said one of the residents.
A fishermen said that two men dressed in ‘white uniform’ had come to the beach and asked them to remain ‘alert’ however they refused to provide any details about the naphtha-carrying tanker.
“They kept mum when I asked them what kind of alert they were referring to; they did not tell us what we should do and what we shouldn’t in case of any emergency. I have a family and we are scared,” he said.
Another resident said that there is a rumour that it contains a chemical that can ‘wipe out’ the houses on entire stretch from Dona Paula jetty up to Marivel beach including La Marvel colony where around 3000 people including migrants are currently residing, adding there was no authentic information available with them about the ship.
“If the North Goa collector and the entire government machinery are not concerned about us, but at least the local MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate should have the courtesy to come here and brief us exactly what is happening,” said a youngster.