Wreckage of sunken Chinese ship found

Kendrapara: Officials of the Bhitarkanika National Park have made a chance discovery of wreckage of a sunken Chinese ship along the Gahirmatha coast in close vicinity of high security Wheelers Island test range centre.

Forest officials who spotted the ship wreck on Monday have informed the Defence Reaserch and Development Organization (DRDO), Coast Guard (Paradip) and civil and police administration of Kendrapara district about the wreckage findings along the coastline.

The sunken ship- Jewn Jyi Rong- is of Chinese origin.

It had sunk off East Sri Lankan coast during January earlier this year and had not yet been traced.

Besides, the wreckage was posing threat to mariners along the Southern coast. It appeared that the wreckage had drifted along to the Gahirmatha coast, said Saroj Kumar Sahu, commandant, Coast Guard, Paradip.

The sunken vessel is lying partly under seawater submergence while the rest of the wreckage is aground. It is in ruins. Major portions of the sunken ship have got rusted.

There are burn marks on the interior portion of the ship, Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) forest division told PTI.

The officials found the wreck yesterday at Ekakulanasi off Gahirmatha coast. The spot where the debris was found was traced is about 1.5 kilo metre from DRDO`s test range centre.

"The ship had drifted to the coast about a fortnight back, but we did not notice it in the unmanned Island. Still we are getting reports that some people from a nearby village had tried to get into the wreck to steal valuables from it," DFO Mahapatra said.

"Forest personnel are keeping round-the-clock watch on the foreign vessel wreck. The DRDO and Coast Guard have been alerted," said a forest official.

An order has been issued to stop outsiders entry into the unmanned Island to ensure the ship wreckage is not vandalized.

A complaint has also been lodged with the marine wing of state police for security cover to the Chinese ship wreckage.