Saturday, 30 June 2007
Re-floating The Pasha Bulker
Since June the 8th the Pasha Bulker has become a household name in Australia. What is the Pasha Bulker?? It is a 76,741 tonne 225-metre long bulk carrier which ran aground 20m off Newcastle's Nobby's Beach during a storm on June 8. Since then there have been many plans for re-floating the enormous coal freighter, even talk at one stage of dismantling the ship.
The ship was emptied of any cargo after it ran aground, although it does contain around 700 tonnes of fuel oil, 38 tonnes of diesel and 40 tonnes of lube oil, which if released could cause a major ecological disaster. Although there is no signs of fuel leaks at the moment, the outer shell of the ship's double hull has a crack.
The Pasha Bulker has drawn huge crowds to Nobby's beach over recent weeks, everyone wanting to have a look at the unusual sight of such a big ship so close up on the sand.
The first attempt to pull the Pasha Bulker back to sea began on Thursday night in heavy seas, high winds and sheeting rain. Three of the six steel salvage cables linking tugboats to the ship snapped and the attempt was aborted.
The cables were to be reattached by helicopter and apparently they will be making the second attempt to pull the carrier out tonight. Meteorologists say the Newcastle coast will face strong west/south westerly winds up to 65km/h on Saturday and south/south easterly waves up to three metres high. The salvage team is believed to be working in a window of favourable tides that will end on July 4.
Since I live nowhere near Newcastle, I obviously cannot take my own photos to post, so I am posting some photos that have featured in the Sydney Morning Herald - it is quite an incredible sight.
I wonder if tonight's re-float attempt will be more successful than the last one.
***UPDATE***: On posting this post, news has just come in that tonights re-float attempt has been put off now until tommorrow night.
.... Just another day ....