The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is to surcharge Multi Plan Limited, agents for an oil tanker vessel, MT Anthony, that broke into two on anchorage at the Tema Port on December 4, 2018.
The vessel, flying the Nigerian flag with a crew of 11, was in the Ghanaian waters for a schedule maintenance at the Tema Shipyard and Dry-dock facility.
According to the General Manager in-charge of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the GPHA, Mrs Esther Gyebi-Donkor, it sunk half-way through the prime passage of the port, resulting in port officials relocating the vessel to prevent it from sinking completely.
All crew members who were rescued by the security team of the GPHA have since returned to Nigeria while each half of the vessel comprising the Stern (aft) and Bow (forward) were salvaged and towed to the shores of Tema New Town as part of the safety measures put in place to protect incoming vessels to the port.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
Mrs Gyebi-Donkor told the Daily Graphic that initial investigations by the GPHA established that some repair works were being carried out on the vessel at the time of the incident about 3:20 pm that day.
She said that the mid-section of the hull structure (body of the vessel) caved in suddenly while the maintenance process was underway.
The situation, she said, saw the vessel taking in water with the bow (forward) fully submerged in the water within the harbour’s entry area, while the stern (aft) also drifted away quickly necessitating the harbour master and the Marine Department of the GPHA to salvage the vessel from sinking.
“For now, we have successfully salvaged and towed the two-halves of the vessel to separate locations within the Tema New Town waters pending further investigations into the incident,” Mrs Gyebi-Donkor stated.
When the Daily Graphic visited the Tema New Town suburb behind the Eastern Naval Command where the two halves of the vessels were deposited at separate locations, checks revealed that parts of the stern of the tanker was burnt after residents of the area besieged the vessel in an attempt to remove the pumps that connected it to the pipelines for the transmission of petroleum products .
Some residents questioned the reason for dumping the vessel within the area which they said was a fishing zone.
It was also established that the vessel’s agents had applied to the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMT) for permission to scrap the vessel.