The cargo ship that has been stuck at Clifton beach in Karachi will remain stranded till August 15 as the engine of the vessel is too weak to function, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs Mehmood Moulvi on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference alongside the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Moulvi said the authorities will need to unload oil from the ship first to move it. He said the port remained closed during Eid that resulted in the suspension of the rescue work, adding that the water had really entered the ship when the first rescue team reached it.
On the other hand, the captain of the cargo vessel rejected the statement issued by Federal Minister Ali Zaidi, saying the port authorities failed to help the ship despite distress calls.
The captain of the cargo vessel claimed that he made the SOS call on July 20 when the chain of one of the ship’s anchors broke and sank in the sea. The captain kept on his claims that he had requested the authorities to provide them a berth on an emergency basis as it was nearly impossible for him to control the vessel with only one anchor.
The second anchor had also been detached from the ship at 1:15 am on the night between July 20 and 21, he said, adding that he made the SOS call at 1:20 am.
He said that the authorities at Port Muhammad Bin Qasim and Manora were also hearing the emergency call but the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) control room did not provide them any help. The captain said that he had been told the concerned officers were in an important meeting.
CONTACT BETWEEN CAPTAIN AND CONTROL ROOM:
According to the audio recording of the conversation between the captain and the control tower, the captain asked for help but didn’t get any positive response. “MV Heng Tong is contacting the Muhammad Bin Qasim port’s control on channel 16,” the captain sent the message thrice.
Meanwhile, the authorities directed the captain to contact on channel 10. Channel 10 remained unresponsive. The captain also contacted Manora’s control room. He told the control room that the ship was “heading towards the shore” The captain again asked, “Have you heard my message?” “Sorry we cannot help you,” the control tower replied, as per the recording.
CARGO SHIP STUCK:
A Hong Kong cargo ship that was coming from Shanghai and beached at Karachi Sea View after losing its anchors got stuck on Wednesday.
According to the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), the cargo ship entered the Pakistani waters for the change of shipping line crew. It said that the ship did not enter the Karachi harbour and maintained that the engine of the cargo ship could not sustain the high tides of the sea.
The tides pushed it back to the sea and then it started drifting to the shallow water, it said, adding that when the KPT got the information, the ship was already drifting along with the high tides. The KPT could not provide any help to the ship. The KPT immediately alerted the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PSMA).