Ship aground off Newcastle winds batter NSW


Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Woke up this morning to a raging southerly and many trees down. I struggled through the gale to get up to the bus stop, looking out to sea at the whitewater extending nearly out to the beyond the headlands. Huge rollers coming in, and I had a shudder at the thought of being at sea in weather like that.

There's some incredible photographs of a ship aground off Newcastle, with two more dragging at anchor and expected to run aground as well:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/ship-aground-rescue-underway/2007/06/08/1181089282623.html

A reminder of why Frank Bullen shuddered when he wrote of "Southerly Busters" on the NSW coast, and why the sea floor between Newcastle and Wollongong is littered with colliers that have gone down.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Pasha Bulker is almost brand new.<<

And aground as she is, she's also in some heap big trouble. It's not all that well appriciated that a ship aground has enormous bending loads and other stresses being imposed on the hull girder, especially if she's grounded on shoals or an uneven bottom. (Stormy seas don't help at all.) This is the reason why grounded vessels have a nasty habit of breaking up. With the Land Down Under heading towards winter, I expect conditions there will actually trend to the worse more often then the better.
 
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Trevor William Sturdy

Guest
Yesterday was certainly the worst weather I can remember for a number of years, you get 10 points from me Inger to stand at a bus stop in those conditions. I worked out of Martin Place on thursday, and that was bad enough, wasn't even going to think of going into the city yesterday so worked from home. I am going to go for a drive up this afternoon and check this ship out, its not everday you get to see something like this....

Trev.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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A transcript from The World Today:

Stranded ship is now a leaking ship
quote:

The World Today - Monday, 11 June , 2007 12:10:00
Reporter: Karen Barlow
PETER CAVE: First though, plans to refloat the 40,000-tonne bulk carrier stranded on a reef just off Newcastle's Nobby's Beach, have come unstuck.

Salvage crews have found the Panama-registered Pasha Bulker has an outer hull breach, and is taking on water. The massive vessel ran aground in gale force winds and rough seas on Friday while waiting in the long offshore queue to load coal.

Authorities say there is no danger that any fuel will spill, and every effort is being made to ensure the Pasha Bulker doesn't become a permanent tourist attraction at Nobby's Beach.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW: Newcastle's latest and largest tourist attraction has all the onlookers asking, when it is going to be moved? After the latest assessment by salvage investigators, the answer is, not for at least a few more days.
For the rest of the transcript, go to http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1947677.htm
 
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Trevor William Sturdy

Guest
G'day Michael, Yeah I passed by and had a look at his situation the other day. She is stuck fast sitting high out of the water. What she is resting on currently is a nice sandy bottom, however she did pass over a reef to get here so no surprise the outer hull is breached. They are currently playing musical tanks internally moving fuel and ballast around. Apart from what is at hand in Newcastle, a couple of other tugs have been called up from other ports. The real problem, apart from sitting on the bottom and getting slammed by a huge swell, is the reef behind her and the fact she has been washed prety much parallel with the beach...We shall see...
 
Dec 2, 2000
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A sandy bottom is in no wise an assurance that the ship will stay intact. A fact that salvage people have learned the hard way. Even when they look stable, grounded vessels have a habit of breaking up. Being damaged from running over a reef doesn't help.

Caught this little gem from The West Austrailian:

Ship Unlikely To Be Refloated Wednesday
quote:

Efforts to stabilise and safeguard the fuel oil load of the 225-metre ship stranded off Newcastle are continuing, with authorities saying it is "extremely unlikely" the Pasha Bulker will be refloated on Wednesday.

A second specialised salvage tug is expected to arrive at Nobby's Beach on Wednesday, Maritime NSW spokesman Neil Patchett said, while a third tug is on hold in Brisbane.

Mr Patchett said they would continue pumping sea water into one of the Pasha Bulker's cargo holds on Tuesday, while its fuel oil is transferred to tanks in the safer upper levels of the stricken ship.
Story at http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=390566

Comment: Don't get your hopes up that this is going to go away anytime soon.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The saga goes on. From Canberra News:

Newcastle salvage operation to resume
quote:

A salvage operation to rescue a stranded bulk carrier at Newcastle will resume as a four-metre swell continues to bear down on the stricken 40,000-tonne vessel.

Water was being pumped into the cargo hold of the stranded bulk carrier Pasha Bulker to stabilise the vessel until it can be towed off Nobbys Beach.

The team working to salvage the 225-metre coal carrier is continuing to transfer fuel oil from lower tanks to the upper part of the vessel, a NSW Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett said.

The team hopes to move the ship's fuel out of harm's way by the end of Tuesday.

The salvage team reported a hole in the ship's outer hull but the team was confident the inner hull remained intact.
Story at http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=595103
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>One more storm and we could see bad damage.<<

With the first day of the Southern Hemisphere's winter just a few days away, I would think that the prospect of more severe storms in the very near future would be a sure thing. The salvage company had better work fast, especially if they're working on a "No Cure, No Pay" contract.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Austrailian:

Work to salvage stranded coal ship begins
quote:

AUTHORITIES have begun a hydrographic survey of the ocean floor around a bulk carrier stranded on a Newcastle beach as they prepare to try to salvage the vessel.
The 40,000 tonne Pasha Bulker has been stranded at Nobby's Beach since it ran aground on Friday in gale force winds and high seas.

A 22-man salvage team has spent a sixth day on board, working to stabilise the 225-metre vessel, which is wedged on a sandbank.
Story at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21905362-2702,00.html

The real fun begins.​
 
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Trevor William Sturdy

Guest
Salvage crews have left the ship - we are about to get smashed by an even bigger storm than the one that grounded her, waves are predicted to get up to 10 metres and winds in excess of 100kilometres an hour. The canopy on my own boat was trashed by last weeks storms,I'm just hoping the tree's nearby where I have it parked hold up to the coming onslaught.
 
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Trevor William Sturdy

Guest
Dave, For the past six months I could have walked to the end of my street and counted 20 or more ships standing by off the coast. After the Pasha Bulker ran aground there was not a ship to be seen, obviously riding it out in deeper water. They have slowly returned to anchor over the last week, however this arvo I noticed they were again under steam and heading for the horizon, better safe than sorry with the current forecast..

Trev....
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Radio Australia:

Australian authorities fear ship might break-up
quote:

Port authorities in eastern Australia are concerned the grounded freighter, the Pasha Bulker, could break up in wild weather that is forecast to hit the region late on Tuesday.

The weather bureau is warning of flash flooding and destructive winds with wind gusts expected to reach 125 kilometres per hour.
Story at http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/s1955473.htm

Is anyone really surprised by this? I'm not!​
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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For those not Australian, Newcastle is a very important coal exporting port, but a bad bottleneck has developed because of railway problems. That's why dozens of ships have been anchored on the exposed coast. They are all in ballast and riding high. Pasha Bulker will be the very devil to move because there's not much that can be done to lighten her. Except for fuel and some ballast, she was empty when she hit the beach.

The last I heard, the weather was not quite as bad as expected, though it's still pretty rough.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The West.com:

Stranded ship 'intact' off Newcastle
quote:

The stranded bulk carrier Pasha Bulker is "standing up well" off a Newcastle beach, after a major storm forecast to hit the NSW coast overnight moved out to sea.

"It wasn't as bad as what we expected," Newcastle Port Corporation spokesman Keith Powell said.

"The Pasha Bulker is still standing up well to the conditions."
Story at http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=393036
 

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