Refloating of grounded cargo ship at Karachi Port to start in mid-August, Pakistani official claims

Heng Tong 77 in 2018 (Photo: bozhneh)

Reuters reports that the refloating of a cargo vessel that ran aground at Pakistan’s Port of Karachi earlier this week will begin no earlier than the middle of August.

Debunkering will meanwhile commence on the Panamanian-flagged deck cargo vessel Heng Tong 77, which had become beached on a shallow area within Pakistan’s largest deepwater port on Sunday, July 25.

The grounding occurred as a result of the vessel drifting to shore after it lost both anchors and suffered engine failure in rough sea conditions in the Karachi anchorage area on Sunday.

Mahmood Moulvi, special assistant to the Prime Minister on maritime affairs, said the start of the refloating operation has been set for August 15 as it has been deemed the earliest date that high tide conditions will be favourable enough for the effort to be safely performed.

The debunkering will be carried out as a precaution to mitigate the risk of the fuel spilling into the surrounding waters.

The port authority has given Heng Tong 77‘s owners 48 hours to empty the ship’s bunkers, which still contain around 118 tonnes of fuel. Otherwise, the debunkering will be accomplished by port-appointed salvors.

See more stories from this month’s Tug and Salvage Week here.

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