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Not Sailing

Local officials are preparing for the debut of a restaurant aboard a Bangladeshi freighter that ran aground in Visakhapatnam, India in September 2020, turning what some might view as an undesirable marine casualty into a tourist attraction.

The 2009-built Maa is a 260-foot, 3,000 dwt freighter with ample deck space and hold capacity for conversion. On October 12, 2020, while waiting to take on a load of stone at Vizag, she lost her anchor in a storm and went aground. A commercial salvor’s attempt to refloat the ship was scheduled for November, but it was called off, and the shipowner declared an intention to abandon the vessel in place.

Under other circumstances, this turn of affairs might lead to a legal dispute between the local government and the vessel’s insurer, followed by a costly wreck removal. Instead, the province of Andhra Pradesh took notice of the wreck’s popularity among tourists and decided to make the most of it. An Indian contractor removed about 25,000 gallons of fuel from the Maa’s tanks, so the pollution risk was minimized – all that was needed was a concessionaire to operate the site as a tourist attraction.  Read on.