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Work to salvage cargo ship stuck at Karachi’s Sea View to be resumed today

– Authorities concerned say operation will be resumed today.
– Only an abandoned ship can be taken into custody like this, shipping experts say.

KARACHI (TTI News) – The authorities will resume the work to remove the cargo ship MV Heng Tong 77 stranded at Karachi’s Sea View today (Thursday).

The officials of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) have told that they were earlier unable to remove the ship due to technical reasons. However, the work will be resumed anytime today, they added.

The ship will be pushed back into the sea with the help of heavy machinery.

In July, the Pakistan Navy with other maritime shareholders had finished the defueling procedure of the cargo ship.

It is to be mentioned here that the ship was stopped in Pakistan‘s territorial waters for a crew change when it lost anchors due to irregular waves and drifted towards the shore. 

According to shipping experts, the orders for help should have come way before the ship was taken into custody.

Only an abandoned ship can be taken into custody like this, whereas a ship that hasn’t been given up by its owner or crew members cannot be taken into custody by the port authorities in Karachi, said the experts.

Moreover, the authorities would need an order from the court in case the ship has to be taken into custody for a different reason, such as the clearance of dues.

Besides, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi said that the custody can be claimed under criminal shipping laws on the basis of a fault in the ship.

“There is a provision in the law for holding the ship back therefore we will not allow them to take the ship before the payment of money spent on the ship’s security and clearance of other dues,” said Moulvi.

Ship’s custody

The vessel, Heng Tong 77, had been taken into custody by the government of Pakistan and an official notification was also issued in this regard.

According to the notification, the ship has been seized by the government under the Pakistan Merchant Ordinance.

Meanwhile, experts have declared Heng Tong 77 not fit to be used for maritime purposes, read the notification.

Cargo ship stuck at Karachi’s Seaview

Panama registered MV Heng Tong 77 was anchored in Pakistan’s territorial waters off Karachi for a crew change on July 21 when it lost anchors due to rough seas and drifted towards the shore, the Karachi Port Trust had said.

The cargo ship remained stranded at Karachi’s Seaview beach for 20 days till the rescue operation was first started.

Ahmed Mukhtar Naqshbandi

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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