The owner of grounded barge Heng Teng 77 at Seaview Beach in Karachi has formally appointed M/s Bahira Maritimes Services, Karachi as their agent for salvage operation and liaison between the vessel’s owner and government stakeholders for the successful refloating and ship’s departure from Pakistan.
Capt Asim Iqbal of Bahira Maritimes Services has already informed the special Committee of the government about the owner’s plan for the refloating of the vessel with the special assistance of foreign and local experts.
According to Capt Asim Iqbal of Bahira Maritimes Services, moving forward, the vessel’s owner has appointed a local firm Seamax Marine Group for refloating the beached ship near Karachi at the earliest. The Karachi based firm is reportedly coordinating with local authorities to commence work. After the approval of the government authorities, work would start.
Meanwhile, KPT Marine Pollution Control Dept mobilized its heavy equipment at the site at sunrise. KPT Marine Pollution Control Rapid Response team maintaining 24/7 vigil. KPT Marine Pollution Control is developing a sacrificial place at the beach in an oil spill to mitigate its spread. KPT Heavy machinery levelling beach access before making embankment to counter any Oil spill contingency after selecting sacrificial area keeping in view wind patterns.
Separately, Pakistan Maritime Affairs Ministry has formed a six-member Fact-Finding Committee to investigate the grounding of barge Heng Teng 77 at Seaview Beach in Karachi on July 21. It includes a Principal Officer of Mercantile Marine Department as Chairman and a Pakistan Maritime Security Agency representative, Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Pakistan National Shipping Corporation and Directorate General Ports & Shipping, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, as members. The terms of reference of the Inquiry Committee are to investigate the matter, find out lapses, fix responsibilities, propose a way forward, and make recommendations to pre-empt such incidents in the future.
The Committee shall start its proceedings immediately and shall submit a report within 05 days.