Defueling from beached ship starts

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The work to remove oil from a merchant ship that ran aground at the city’s beach has started, a maritime official said on Wednesday.

Cargo vessel (MV) Heng Tong 77 ran aground and stuck at Karachi beach near Seaview in the wee hours of last Wednesday.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi has said that 118 tons of fuel being transferred to oil tankers.

“We could not take risk of oil spill, the oil being removed before pulling the vessel stuck at the beach,” Mahmood Moulvi said.

“The shipowner and the Captain was given time for removal of oil from the vessel. With lack of action from the shipowners, the port authorities removing oil from the vessel,” government’s maritime affairs official said.

“The decision to remove oil from the ship was taken with consultation of the stakeholders,” he said.

The port authorities had earlier given notice to the owners to take out bunkers containing fuel within 48 hours.

“If they don’t, the port authority will remove ships bunkers, we cannot take any risk with its oil,” Mahmood Moulvi earlier said.An attempt to salvage the ship could not be made before Aug. 15, he added.

Panama registered M.V. Heng Tong 77 was anchored in Pakistan’s territorial waters off Karachi for a crew change on July 21 when it lost anchors due to rough seas and drifted towards the shore, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said.

“By the time the vessel informed KPT of her drifting, it was already in shallow waters,” the port authority said in a tweet. The ship is carrying 118 tons of bunker fuel.

On July 27, 2003, Tasman Spirit, an oil tanker, ran aground while navigating to the Karachi Port.

It broke up and spilled around 30,000 metric tons of oil over the next few days, in one of Pakistan’s worst environmentaldisasters.

Meanwhile, it is said thatoil is not spilling into the sea from the ship stranded on the shores of Clifton and the coordination committee formed on the matter is keeping a close watch on the matter and is professionally handling all matters.

On the directives of Sindh Chief Minister’s Advisor on Law, Environment, Climate Change, and Coastal Development Barrister MurtazaWahab, the Director-General Sindh Environmental Protection (SEPA) Naeem Ahmed Mughal visited the site with his technical team and inspected the whole matter in detail.

 

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