The stranded container ship on Karachi beach, the Heng Tong, was finally refloated successfully after 49 days on Tuesday.Â
The ship is now heading towards deeper waters on its own power.
In the first phase, the bearing of the ship was corrected and the second phase involved the ship being towed to deeper waters, saidÂ seafaring captain Asim Iqbal.Â
Iqbal added that a special rope, with a pulling capacity of up to 0.1 million tonnes was used in the effort and the ship was eventually towed 2.5 kilometres out to the open sea.Â
An adviser of the ministry, Mahmood Molvi, confirmed toÂ the media that the ship is now deep waters and added that the Heng Tong will now dock at the Karachi port and will be allowed to leave after its cleared by technical teams.Â
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The adviser added that all expenses of the refloating operation will be borne by the owner of the ship.
Last month, the eligibility of SeaMax, the company operating the operation, was called into question.
According to shipping industry sources, the ship’s owner hired Seamax in Pakistan through Dubai-based C-Crest to save money and Seamax hired a local company that specialises in ship breaking.
The Port and Shipping director-general objected to the operation plan and hinted at an investigation into the companies’ eligibility and approval of the plan.
The owner of the ship stranded off the coast of Karachi, hired SeaMax through a company called Seacrest. Foreign salvage companies had demanded huge sums for the service.
Heng Tong’s shipping agent in Pakistan was also reportedly excluded from the deal, and the ship’s owner dealtÂ with the salvage company directly.