KARACHI: The stranded container ship at Karachi’s Seaview beach, the Heng Tong 77, was freed successfully after 48 days on Tuesday, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Maulvi.
Talking to journalists, the special assistant said that the container ship was tugged to the port at Keamari for repair work. “The ship is still detained till issuance of safety certificates,” he added.
The cargo ship will be inspected and subsequently allowed to float after safety clearance. The rescue operation for the ship was jointly undertaken by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Pakistan Navy and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) teams,
According to the KPT, the cargo ship coming from Shanghai was on its way to Istanbul, Turkey, and did not completely enter the Karachi Harbour, although it was anchored in Pakistani waters awaiting a crew change.
The rough sea caused the vessel to lose its anchors and it started drifting towards shallow water on July 21. The ship was already in shallow water by the time the KPT was informed about the situation.
On August 11, the government of Pakistan had detained the container ship, which experts declared “unseaworthy” and a threat to “human life on ship and property”.
“Vessel is not seaworthy due to defective hull & nav equip, weak engine, poor life saving/fire fitting equipment. In this current state it poses a threat to our channel + other vessels well,” The Ministry of Maritime Affairs had said in a statement.
The ship, owned by a Hong Kong-based cargo company, is 98 metres in length and 20 metres wide. It was built in 2010 and has a capacity of 3,600 deadweight tonnage.