Beira not closed by ship grounding

Apr 28, 2003
Author: P&S

Beira port officials have poured scorn on reports in the Mozambique media that the port has closed because an unidentified cargo ship carrying 14,000 tonnes of steel bound for China has run aground in the port entrance channel.

According to the chairman of the port authority CFM Beira has remained open to ships and the grounding has not affected normal harbour operations.

He was unaware how the accident occurred, which happened while the cargo ship was on a straight course down the long entrance channel. He said that if it had happened on a bend at the exit to the port, it would have been more understandable, as this was an area that made navigation difficult.

He was hopeful the ship could be refloated early this week and announced a commission of enquiry to look into the circumstances that caused the grounding. He said CFM was spending large amounts each year to keep the channels dredged and clear, not only at Beira but all the other ports as well.

Beira received special attention because of the large amounts of silt washed into the harbor by the Pungue and Buzi rivers.

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