x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Melons overboard - capsized dhow causes big spill in Dubai port

When the dhow captain opted to unload his cargo at Al Hamriya port from the bottom rather than the top, it would be fair to say that, as decisions go, it wasn’t his best.

A boat carrying 30 tonnes of melons capsized in Al Hamriya Port. Dubai Municipality only finished fishing out the melons today. Courtesy Dubai Municipality
A boat carrying 30 tonnes of melons capsized in Al Hamriya Port. Dubai Municipality only finished fishing out the melons today. Courtesy Dubai Municipality

DUBAI // When the dhow captain opted to unload his cargo from the bottom rather than the top, it would be fair to say that, as decisions go, it wasn’t his best.

As the 17th-century mathematician Sir Isaac Newton could have told him, the Earth exerts a strong gravitational pull. Sir Isaac would not have been at all surprised when the top-heavy dhow duly toppled over and spilled the remains of its cargo into the waters of Al Hamriya port.

The fruits of the disaster – 30 tonnes of Iranian melons – have kept a municipal task force busy in the harbour for more than a week.

“We are always ready for any emergencies, including unusual calls like this,” said Abdulmajeed Saifaie, director of waste management at the municipality.

Seventeen workers were sent to collect the watermelons and honeydews that washed ashore, while another team of seven workers on two boats corralled the floating fruit to prevent it from drifting out to sea.

Sadly, the workers were unable to take the spoils of their clean-up job home for dessert. The melons absorbed seawater while floating in the dock and were deemed inedible.

All of the fruit was destroyed.

malkhan@thenational.ae