Efforts to refloat stranded ship fail

Waves nudge vessel back to shore as tug boats' ropes break


Our Correspondent August 25, 2021
A wheel loader clears the ground near stranded cargo ship MV Heng Tong 77 at Sea View beach in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KARACHI:

The final push to tug the stranded container carrier Heng Tong failed on Tuesday as tides pushed the vessel back to the place from where it was dragged into the water on Monday.

The ship from Hong Kong, sailing under a Panama flag, got stuck on the Sea View Beach as it lost an anchor while approaching the Karachi Port on its way from Shanghai to Istanbul last month. Ship Agent Captain Asim Iqbal told the media that the salvage crew had managed to drag it 800 metres into the sea and were hoping to start the engine and turn on the propellers.

However, the ropes of the tug boat snapped as the mariners tied to pull the 36,000 deadweight tonnage vessel into the deep, he said. The tug boat's engine also blew up in an effort to 'tug more than it could pull'.

Read More: WATCH: Defuelling of stranded ship at Karachi beach ‘safely completed’

Captain Iqbal said they have two more days to refloat the stranded vessel, otherwise, the high tides will subside with the waning moon.

Meanwhile, Heng Tong 77 Captain Umar said that the otherwise successful operation failed due to the incapacity of the tug boats. He declared that the salvage company, Sea-Max, was responsible for the failure of the operation. The tugs provided by Sea-Max were not powerful enough to do the job, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2021.

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