Cargo ship beached at Karachi's Sea View after losing anchors due to rough weather

Published July 22, 2021
The MV Heng Tong cargo ship stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author
The MV Heng Tong cargo ship stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author
Beachgoers visit the site where the MV Heng Tong cargo ship is stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author
Beachgoers visit the site where the MV Heng Tong cargo ship is stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author
The MV Heng Tong cargo ship stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author
The MV Heng Tong cargo ship stranded on Sea View beach, Karachi. — Photo by author

A cargo ship that beached at Karachi's Sea View early on Wednesday after it lost its anchors due to rough weather remained at the beach on Thursday as authorities were yet to take action.

According to the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), MV Heng Tong, a cargo ship coming from Shanghai was on its way to Istanbul, Turkey, and did not completely enter the Karachi Harbour, although it was anchored in Pakistani waters awaiting a crew change.

The rough sea caused the vessel to lose its anchors and it started drifting towards shallow water. The ship was already in shallow water by the time the KPT was informed about the situation.

The KPT then alerted the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PSMA) which couldn't provide much help as well.

According to the KPT, the harbour's navigation channel was not impacted by the ship floating off to the shore.

It added that "salvaging the vessel is the responsibility of the ship's owners" although the KPT and PSMA would remain available for any operational and tactical assistance in Pakistan's waters.

The ship, owned by a Hong Kong-based cargo company, is 98 metres in length and 20 metres wide. It was built in 2010 and has a capacity of 3,600 deadweight tonnage.

Normally, all ships raise Pakistan's flag on deck upon entering Pakistan's waters. But MV Heng Tong is flying a Panama flag as it never thought of making the change in the emergency that it found itself in.

Several Karachiites headed to the beach after seeing news of the ship on television.

Some beachgoers wondered about the containers loaded on the ship and if the cargo would get spoiled while others wondered if the strong tides would break the vessel.

The Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue has barriers on either side to prevent people from heading to the Sea View beach as Section 144 had been imposed to keep people out of the water due to the rough sea in the monsoon season.

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