‘Spaceship’ anchors in Algoa Bay

The sight of the odd-looking Hua Hai Long heavy lift vessel in Algoa Bay yesterday left many Port Elizabeth residents wondering if the aliens had indeed arrived – by sea
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

A massive Chinese ship anchored in Algoa Bay has caused a stir in Port Elizabeth, with some residents comparing the vessel to a spaceship, writes Gareth Wilson.

According to Transnet, the Hua Hai Long, which is classified as a 30 000 ton heavy lift vessel, anchored in the bay for shelter on Sunday.

Starting early yesterday morning, scores of readers contacted The Herald asking for information on the “massive vessel” and “spaceship-looking thing” anchored about 3km off the Port Elizabeth shoreline.

Acting Port Elizabeth harbour master Kgadi Matlala said the Chinese-based vessel was carrying aquafarming cages destined for Norway.

“The ship came in for shelter due to rough seas and was anchored further out in the bay during the course of Sunday,” she said.

Watch this video of a fish farm being built:

“At about 11pm on Sunday night, they obtained permission to move closer to shore due to large swell and bad weather conditions.”

The shipping agent for the vessel is Rennies Ship Agency, which arranged for it to dock in the Bay.

An official at the agency, who declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media, said the vessel was scheduled to leave within the week.

“Due to the size of the cargo the vessel is carrying, it is very dangerous to sail in rough seas and high winds. It makes the vessel vulnerable to toppling in rough seas,” the official said.

“Vessels like this spend most of their voyage ducking into various bays and ports for shelter during their trip.”

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