Cargo ship stuck at Karachi’s SeaView carrying tonnes of fuel

Heng Tong 77, the cargo ship stuck near Karachi’s SeaView since Wednesday [July 21], carrying approximately 118 tonnes of bunker fuel raising concerns of oil leakage.

The Pakistan Navy and Karachi Port Trust have decided to form a National Contingency Plan to prevent any kind of environmental hazards in case the ship breaks down.

“An elaborate plan has been formulated to mitigate effects of any untoward incident which may pose a grave environmental hazard due to possibility of oil leakage from the ship’s fuel tank,” a press release issued by the Pakistan Navy stated.

Tong 77 departed from the Chennai port for Istanbul. On July 18, it stopped in Karachi for staff changes. The high tides pushed it towards the coast, a few kilometres away from SeaView.

On Friday, KPT laid a fence boom around the ship. A fence boom is a non-absorbent fence-like spill containment structure that contains oil spills on the water’s surface.

Although presently there are no immediate signs of possible oil leakage, proactive measures have been taken to avoid the risk of any negative development, given to the rough sea during Monsoon rains, the Navy’s press release added.

“The situation is critically being monitored by the Pakistan Navy and all stakeholders in order to mitigate environmental hazards such as marine pollution.”

Research shows oil spills can be very harmful to sea animals such as fish, marine birds, sea turtles, and shellfish.

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