Ships run aground at Sharjah, UAE as gales cause havoc

The Dolphin and the Lady Rana collided with rocks as their captains struggled to keep control of the huge vessels amid swells of up to 10ft, a spokesman for the Coastguard said.

SHARJAH: Two cargo ships ran aground at Sharjah Beach as the UAE was battered by strong winds gusting at 54 kph.The Dolphin and the Lady Rana collided with rocks as their captains struggled to keep control of the huge vessels amid swells of up to 10ft, a spokesman for the Coastguard said.

"A private company that specialises in assisting sinking ships and in fixing their faults and damages was contacted," he said.

"The company advised that the ships make an emergency landing on the nearest shore and we directed them at the beach," rather than continue to collide with the rocks and risk sinking.

Nearly 20 crew members were rescued by the Coastguard teams arriving on time at the scene, the spokesman said.

Teams of divers and technicians were working hard to close the holes in the vessels and repair other damage, he said. The ships will be moved to the Ajman Free Zone's dry docks to complete their repairs and test their seaworthiness.

Nazim Mohammed, an officer aboard the Dolphin, said that his ship belonged to a British company and was transporting oil and petroleum.

"My ship crashed against several sea rocks and got several holes," he said. "We need some time to repair the holes and then we can sail again."

Mr Mohammed refused to give details as to his ship's destination or point of origin.

An officer from the Lady Rana refused to comment.

The sight of the vessels on the beach attracted crowds of people coming to offer assistance and take pictures.

"I just got a text from a friend that two big ships had an accident on Sharjah Beach and decided I should come and see it," said Omar Ahmed Shebe, a 35-year-old resident of Sharjah.

The National Centre for Meteorology and Siesmology yesterday issued a warning that the high winds could cause problems at sea and on land.

"Fresh to strong" northwesterly winds could cause waves of seven to 10ft, according to the warning, and gusts of up to 54 kph along the shore tossed around dust and made driving difficult.

Abu Dhabi police said they had received no reports of accidents caused by the winds.

The blustery weather is normal for this time of year, according to a meteorologist at the centre who declined to give his name.

It is caused by seasonal high-altitude winds from Siberia sweeping south, causing turbulence even at the surface, he said.

And although the temperatures for the UAE ranged from 2C to 15C in the mountains, to 8C to 24C in the lowlands, it felt much colder because of the brisk winds, he said.

"Even though there is more heat now as compared with January, it feels cooler because of the wind," he said.

10th August, 2010

Mv Khalijia 3 was approaching Mumbai Pilot station for berthing and MSC Chitra was sailing from Nhava Sheva and it is been stated that Khalijia 3 collided with MSC Chitra.MSC Chitra is in the mean time, listed almost more than 30 degrees.About 400 containers have been floating around all over the area and many containers have been spotted very close to the Nhava Sheva and Mumbai Ports.Some of the containers are carrying IMO cargoes as well. All shipping movements remain suspended with effect from 7th Night.

There is a high level meeting in progress and the channel will be open for navigation only when same is certified safe by all authorities concerned. This accident will definitely lead to a congestion at both Mumbai & Nhava Sheva Ports.