The Queen of Arabian Sea, had an unusual visitor on early Sunday morning. Maersk Edinburgh, a 366.5 meter long and 48.2 meter beam width giant of a ship, sailed into Kochi Port by 0700 hrs unnoticed and without any fuss.
“This is the biggest ship ever to call on Kochi Port in its history,” said Captain Bhaskar Krishnan Kunji, the chief pilot who led the mission of ushering in the vessel through the narrow channels of Kochi Port. The ship reached Kochi from Port of Salalah in Oman.
The 90-minutes long operation of berthing the vessel saw four giant tugs, pilots and co-pilots working non-stop from day break. “It was a scintillating and action packed experience,” said Captain Kunhi, who led the mission. The vessel would sail out early Monday morning after unloading and loading the giant containers.
Captain Shaji Abraham, Harbour Master, said the arrival of Maersk Edinburgh, marked the elevation of Kochi Port into the big league of global trade. “It was a satisfying experience and our crew are confident of handling any kind of vessels,” Captain Abraham told The Pioneer.
The movement of giant vessels for berthing in the Port is a complicated operation. “Only pilots who know the channels like the back of their hand would be able to lead the ship from the deep seas into the Port premises. This morning’s successful mission prove that Kochi Port has come off age and vessels like super containers would be safe here,” said Captain Kunhi.