Ship Arrest

Aug 26, 2009 (LBO) – An Indian-owned container vessel arrested by Sri Lankan port authorities for non-payment for fuel supplies has been released after the owners paid the supplier. The High Court of Colombo ordered the arrest of MV Gati Pride on August 14 after ship fuel supplier Lanka Maritime Services sought its detention saying it had not paid for bunker fuel.

The company said it would not get paid if the vessel was allowed to leave port as its owners, Gati Coast to Coast of Chennai, India, have no assets in the island.

Gati Coast to Coast has a small fleet of feeder vessels operating in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Seas and Malacca Straits, with a twice-weekly service between Colombo and the south Indian port of Tuticorin.

Lanka Maritime Services claimed a total of 208,039 US dollars (almost 24 million rupees) for fuel and interest costs.

Company officials said the MV Gati Pride, a Panama-flagged 7,000DWT container feeder with a capacity of carrying 442 twenty-foot containers, was freed last Friday after the money was paid.