A cargo ship took ground near Seaview beach in Karachi after losing its anchors. Harsh weather forced the ship, MV Heng Tong, to beach after its anchors broke off.
A Hong Kong-based corporation owns the ship which was built in the year 2010. The ship is 98 metres in height, with a width of 20 metres and a carrying capacity of 3,600 deadweight tonnage. The ship, which took ground on Wednesday, is yet to be salvaged.
According to Karachi Port Trust (KPT) officials, the grounded ship was sailing from Shanghai and was heading to Istanbul in Turkey. However, he added that the ship could not wholly enter the Karachi harbour and lost its anchors and beached.
Officials stated the case. It read, ‘the cargo ship never entered or sailed along the KPT harbour. Harsh weather led the ship to lose its anchors and thereafter, it started drifting towards shallow waters in the wee morning hours.’
The statement further added, ‘Every consequential marine and environmental damages will be levied and bored by the shipowner. Also, the shipowner will receive all operational and technical assistance.’
The KPT official further informed that the ship was awaiting a crew change. He also notified that the KPT had alerted the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PSMA). However, the agency couldn’t offer much assistance.
Under normal conditions, all ships and vessels should raise Pakistan’s flag on deck once they enter the waters of the country territory. But, the unfortunate cargo vessel was still carrying a Panama flag as it failed to change the flag amidst the crisis.
The beached ship has been drawing curious crowds. Several people from Karachi went to the beach to see the grounded beach after viewing the news of the ship on media channels.
However, police built up barricades on the roads and to prevent people from overcrowding on the beach. The police and authorities took this precautionary step as a part of the COVID-19 pandemic and also the monsoon season.