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Grounded Arossim pontoon completes 50 days

In Goa ‘Bhageerath’ is making news. Not the legendary King from Hindu mythology who brought the Ganges from heaven to Earth. It is a Pontoon that was brought to the beach by an event planner for a party. It was used as a dance floor. Unfortunately it was grounded on the beach. It never rose and was stuck at the spot. Soon villagers worrying of the adverse effects of the grounded vessel asked the authorities to take prompt action to remove it. The vessel did bring back the memories of River Princess.

1 tug

Many deadlines were set by the authorities. Not a single one was met. First it was decided to tug away the grounded vessel. The tug that was brought for the work got stuck and was grounded. Efforts were put towards refloating the tug, which left the pontoon stuck on Arossim beach. Excavators were called into action to refloat the tug. Finally after much efforts the tug was re- floated after 3 to 4 days. Now attention was again focused on the grounded pontoon.

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2 tugs

This time two tugs were called into action. That too didn’t work. In the meanwhile the pontoon began to breakdown. It was realised it would be challenging to re- float the pontoon as its hull was broken. The Hull is the water-tight compartment of the boat. Gushing sea water inside the hull made it an impossible task to tow away the grounded vessel.

Operation on the beach

It was decided that it would be a good idea to cut the pontoon on the beach itself. Arihant Ship Breakers were entrusted with the responsibility of scrapping the vessel, just like they had with River Princess off the coast of Sinquerim beach. The move to scrap the pontoon on the beach was first opposed by some villagers but the issue was resolved. Work began on cutting the vessel.

The pontoon had sunk in the sand significantly. Before the scrapping efforts could begin, the grounded vessel had to be cleared of the sand. Once that was done some metal was removed from the vessel to make it lighter. That way it would be easier to pull on the beach and cutting and scrapping process would be resumed.

Since April the grounded pontoon has become an eyesore for the Villagers. A good part of summer season was wasted and not much progress was made in ridding the beach of the dreaded vessel. The sea will soon become very rough with the monsoon approaching fast. It is difficult to imagine how the ship breakers will manage to work under the circumstances.

Do you think the vessel could have been removed sooner? Well, let us know in the comments!

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