MV Heng Tong 77 Cargo Ship Finally Refloated After Being Stuck In Pakistan For 50 Days

After being stuck off the coast of Karachi in Pakistan for about fifty days, MV Heng Tong, a 3,600 DWT cargo ship has been finally rescued by the Pakistani authorities, reported the country's Prime Minister Imran Khan's aide on maritime affairs, on Tuesday.

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The Panama-flagged vessel, which was sailing from the Port of Shanghai to the Karachi Port was anchored in Pakistan’s territorial waters for the purpose of a crew change, when it lost anchors before starting to drift towards the shallow waters in the Clifton Beach off Karachi on 21st July, 2021, owing to rough weather conditions, until it finally ran aground.

Following this incident, the 2,257 GT vessel was detained by Pakistan’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs, and was subsequently declared ‘unseaworthy’. About 118 tonnes of bunker fuel was offloaded from the vessel, in fears of a potential oil spill. The defueling operations began from 29th July, 2021.

The initial operational expenses for the rescue operations of the vessel was estimated to be approximately $2 million, but the final cost came out to be just $500,000, which translates to one-fourth of the estimations.

These expenses would be incurred by the vessel owner declared the Pakistani authorities. The 2010-built vessel would only be allowed to leave the country’s waters after a complete inspection of its seaworthiness by the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) of the Pakistan Government’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs, while the vessel’s navigational equipment and engines would be surveyed thoroughly by the local surveyors. Mahmood Moulvi, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Maritime Affairs said, “The ship is now moved to the safe waters in open sea.

This is the first ship rescued safe and sound as opposed to the past, when such ships would be rescued by cutting them into pieces.

The ship will be allowed to sail away from Pakistan after it is ensured that it is technically fit. The owner of the ship would be responsible to satisfy the MMD about technical fitness of the ship.”