A fishing vessel, MV Lady Faith, which has been abandoned in 2010 at the Tema port without a minimum manning crew is now posing a security threat to port operations as it has now become a hideout for drug peddlers and junkies, some of whom have turned it into a permanent place of abode.
Belonging to a Nigerian businessman identified only as Mr Obiku and consigned to Jofmak Shipping and Trading Limited, the vessel has since 2010 been sitting in the breakwaters at the port.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has therefore served notice that it will discard and dump the vessel on the high seas, as there are fears that the vessel’s continued occupancy of the breakwaters could cause water to spill into the port and with several notices served the owners to remove it proving futile this remains the only option.
The Director of Ports at the GPHA, Mr Jacob Kobla Adorkor, mentioned that attempts by the ports authority over the past five years to get the owners to tow the vessel away had been unsuccessful.
He insisted that the vessel had become a safety and security threat to other vessels arriving at the port.
“Its position at the breakwaters could cause other vessels to sink, as it has started taking in water, and we have to engage people at our own cost to continually scoop water out of it.
He further added that, lives could also be lost and cargoes could sink should vessels run into it, hence the need to take it out of the port in the earliest possible time,”
A committee set up on May 17, 2015, to investigate and reach out to the owners of the abandoned vessel also identified that there were 17 other vessels that arrived at the port’s anchorage between 2012 and May 2015 and had remained there since, while another had been abandoned in the ballast at the Fishing Harbour.
All though two of the vessels were under detention by a court, the others had failed to leave after discharging their cargoes.
Mr Adorkor stressed that “It has become clear that the original owner, identified as Mr Obiku, may also not be interested in the vessel again, as several attempts made to reach out to him have been futile,” while adding that
that the GPHA would have to spend heavily to salvage and dump the said vessel in the shortest possible time in order not to obstruct navigation.
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