PORT KLANG: A container ship ran aground and port operations at Westport and Northport were interrupted for hours because of the haze.
The CSCL Kobe, belonging to China Shipping, beached at the South Channel while being piloted to Westport on Monday. It was freed 12 hours later. The ship did not sustain serious damage.
The Maritime Rescue Co-ordinating Centre has been sending out hourly alerts to all ships plying the Straits of Malacca on the hazardous environmental conditions.
Port Klang Authority general manager Datin O. C. Phang said the grounding of CSCL Kobe occurred because of poor visibility caused by the haze.
She said port pilots have been instructed to be extra vigilant when piloting ships arriving or leaving the terminals.
Phang said Westport operations were suspended between 12.30pm and 5pm yesterday.
Ships were allowed to come in as they have electronic navigational aides. However, container movement in the yard was halted for hours.
Northport (Malaysia) Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Basheer Hassan Abdul Kader said container movement at the port had to be slowed down because of the haze.
We are monitoring the situation and ships are arriving and leaving the port as per schedule, he said.
A maritime centre spokesman said most of the vessels were equipped with GPRS, radar and electronic compass to help them navigate through traffic and avoid any collision.
Visibility along the strait was one nautical mile. The centre has yet to receive any report from vessels in distress, he said.
The centre is more concerned about small fishing boats that are not equipped with electronic navigational aids as they may collide with ships.
We advised them to be extra careful and look out to prevent any incident, he said.
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