Run aground ship begins to refloat, faces new dilemma

The Karachi port officials have succeeded in the first part of operation to refloat a ship that ran aground at Karachi’s Seaview Beach 33 days ago. This ship, Heng Tong 77, will be moved to deeper water by Tuesday. However, it now faces a new dilemma: the Pakistani government has said that the ship would not be allowed to leave unless it pays the expenses incurred on the rescue and obtains a seaworthiness certificate.

The ship was en route to Istanbul from China when it drifted and run aground near the beach on July 18. The 98 meters (322 feet) long ship carried cargo and stopped at Karachi to change crew.

Since the ship was stranded in too shallow water, it was not possible to run its engines and several rescue attempts failed.

On Monday, authorities launched a new operation. A tugboat and a crane pulled the ship away from the shore.  “It moved as much as 100 metres and will be moved another 150 by tomorrow (Tuesday),” shipping agent Captain Asim told journalists.

“Both engines are running now and fans are perfectly operational,” he said adding that from Tuesday the ship will be pulled only by tugboats.

More details to follow


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