8 June 2007
VESSEL & Interveners
|1 - IMO Number :
|2 - Name of Ship :
|3 - Call Sign :
|4 - Gross Tonnage :
|5 - Type of Ship :
|6 -Year of Build :
|7 - Flag :
|8 -Status of Ship :
|9 - Registred Owner :
|10 - Address :
|11 - Ship Manager :
FUKUJIN KISEN KK
|12 - Address :
8-55, Kitahiyoshi-cho 2-chome, Imabari Ehime Pref.
|13 - Classification Society :
|Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
|14 - P&I
|15 - Surveyor :
|16 - Sollicitor :
|17 - Hull Underwriters :
|18 - Cargo Underwriters :
|19 - Others :
|20 - Others :
Svitzer Salvage (LOF 2000)
NB : Information 1 to 14 are extracted from the database EQUASIS. Information are updated at the date of the casualty.
Information from 15 to 20 were found on public websites
|SUMMARY OF THE CASUALTY
The Pasha Bulker is a 76,741 tonne deadweight Panamax bulk carrier operated by the Lauritzen Bulkers Shipping company. While waiting to load coal the Pasha Bulker ran aground during a major storm on June 8, 2007 on Nobbys Beach in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
|DAY TO DAY
|6 december 2007
Pasha Bulker master avoids prosecution for grounding
Michelle Wiese Bockmann - Thursday 6 December 2007
NO charges will be laid against the master of the Pasha Bulker, despite an Australian report assessing his seamanship as “poor” and responsible for the vessel grounding on Nobby’s beach during “horrendous weather conditions” last June.
The highly critical report found that the unnamed master and chief engineer left the bridge for 10-15 minutes for breakfast during winds of up to 50 knots, while the bulk carrier “was in a precarious position”.
But New South Wales Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said prosecuters could not prove negligence beyond reasonable doubt, despite evidence that the master may have committed an offence.
NSW Maritime highlighted the master’s poor judgement and decision-making, including his failure to heed 16 separate storm warnings over two days, his decision to ride out the gale at anchor and not to ballast the ship for heavy weather .
The report said: “The handling of the ship while weighing anchor and trying to depart anchorage also contributed to the Pasha Bulker’s dire situation and eventual outcome.”
Deck officers gave investigators varying accounts of how the crisis was managed.
There were 56 ships at anchor waiting to enter the port of Newcastle on the day before the storm hit on June 8. Pasha Bulker, which had arrived on May 23, was anchored 4.6 km off the coast and was one of only nine vessels that remained in anchorage when the storm hit. The master put the vessel to sea at 0710 hrs, 20 minutes after it began to drag anchor.
The report found the master compounded errors, firstly allowing the ship to drag anchor within 2.2 km of the coast, and then failing to effectively use the vessel’s engines to counter the drift.
Concerns about the master’s performance will be forwarded to the flag state authority, asking for his qualification to be reviewed, the report said. A spokesman for the minister said the master was no longer employed by the shipowner, Japan-based Fukujin Kisen Kaisha.
Also noted was the Pasha Bulker’s refusal to take up offers of help from the Vessel Traffic Information Centre during five separate radio communications from 0720 hrs, until 30 minutes before it ran aground at 0950 hrs.
The ship remained stranded on Nobby’s beach for 25 days.
The report rejected maritime industry criticism that ships maintained unsafe ballast conditions because of the requirements of coal terminal operators, Port Waratah Coal Services.
It said: “PWCS has no contact with any ship regarding its ballast arrangements while at anchor, nor does PWCS make any specific directions... ultimately a ship’s ballast is left at the discretion of the individual master.”
The report found that two other bulkers that experienced difficulties, Sea Confidence and Pasha Bulker sister ship Betis, came close to shore during the storm.
Sydney, Jul 20 - Bulker Pasha Bulker will be towed to Asia for drydocking as soon as next week because her owners have decided not to have any repairs made in Brisbane. The vessel, refloated on Jul 3 after 25 days aground on Nobby's Beach at Newcastle, has been berthed at the port of Newcastle waiting for her Japanese owners, Fukujin Kisen, to decide on a repair plan. It had been thought that further assessments and minor repairs could be carried out at FORGACS in Brisbane, where the vessel could have been put into drydock. But a spokesman for Fukujin Kisen said a tug would arrive in Newcastle from Asia sometime next week in preparation to tow Pasha Bulker directly to Asia to complete all the repairs. The propeller was severely damaged, while her rudder, estimated to weigh about seven tonnes, remains stuck underwater off the beach where Pasha Bulker hit the sea floor. A Newcastle Port Corporation spokesman said heavy surf conditions had delayed attempts to retrieve the rudder. The port corporation is still waiting to discuss the fate of the rudder with Fukujin Kisen, with some suggesting it could be donated to a maritime museum. - Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News.
London, Jul 11 - A press report, dated today, states: The owners of bulker Pasha Bulker, which ran aground on Newcastle's Nobby's Beach last month, could face legal action from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Federal Transport minister Mark Vaile said the vessel's Japanese owners Fukujin Kisen could face charges over the incident. Last week the vessel returned to Newcastle, indefinitely, for repairs. After damage assessments in deeper water, Pasha Bulker was towed by five tugs into Newcastle port, where it will undergo further assessment and have some minor repairs made. A spokeswoman for Newcastle Port Corporation said divers had examined the vessel and had discovered that the hull had been damaged. "The assessment confirmed a breach in one of the 10 water ballast tanks in the bottom of the vessel," she said. The spokeswoman also said the vessel had "sustained damage to the rudder and propeller and there are creases in the outer plating." NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said the vessel was structurally sound, despite the damage found, and the salvage team would hand it back to the owners soon. "Then the owner will make decisions about where and how the repairs will be made," he said. "There's no doubt that Newcastle is capable of doing some preliminary repair work." Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said the vessel would be monitored for oil leaks and "any necessary environmental protection equipment will be deployed".
London, Jul 11 - A press report, dated today, states: Bulker Pasha Bulker will be handed back to its owners later this week, says the salvage company which refloated the vessel. "The salvor's contractual obligations are coming to an end," Svitzer Salvage spokesman Matthew Watson said. "It is likely that the ship will be signed back over to the owner by the end of this week." A spokesman for the owners, Fukujin Kisen, said it was unlikely the major repairs would be carried out in Australia. "It's more efficient to do it in one of the big overseas docks, somewhere in Asia," the spokesman said. "So it will probably be towed back there."
London, Jul 6 - A Newcastle Port Corporation press release, dated today, states: Bulker Pasha Bulker: Oil response equipment and temporary fencing are being removed from the Nobbys Beach area today in preparation for the beachs re-opening to the public from tomorrow morning. CEO Newcastle Port Corporation, Gary Webb, said Nobbys Beach had been closed to the public for four weeks following the grounding of Pasha Bulker on Jun 8. The forward staging area at Nobbys Beach carpark that housed most of the oil response equipment is being cleared today and temporary fencing will start being removed from late today, Mr Webb said. The Waterside Exclusion Zone introduced to allow salvage tugs to refloat the Pasha Bulker from Nobbys Beach was cancelled earlier today. Mr Webb said a survey team is believed to have located a seven-tonne section of rudder near where the stern of the ship was aground off Nobbys Beach. Newcastle Port Corporations survey team used a multi-beam echo sounder to locate what is thought to be a leading edge of the rudder buried in sand, Mr Webb said. Plans are now being made to retrieve the section which measures about five metres by four metres. Retrieval may take a number of days because of weather and sea conditions. Inspections of Nobbys Beach will continue as part of monitoring of the coastline and retrieval of equipment. For safety reasons, any pieces of fencing or other objects found on Nobbys Beach should be taken immediately to lifeguards or to the surf pavilion.
London, Jul 5 - A press report, dated today, states: The New South Wales Ports Minister says the Government’s investigation into the grounding of bulker Pasha Bulker is progressing well, with a report expected to be released within a month. The bulk carrier was stranded on Nobbys Beach for more than three weeks, before being refloated on Monday night (Jul 2). The ship sustained damage to its propeller, rudder and hull and was towed into Newcastle port yesterday for a structural assessment. Ports Minister Joe Tripodi says NSW Maritime’s investigation is almost complete. “I hope to be able to release a report to the public within about a month,” he said. “Interviews have begun, the master of Pasha Bulker has already been interviewed, the master of Sea Confidence, which was the other ship that was in distress has also been interviewed, and we intend to interview the master of the Betis which is the ship that was caught off the coast near Swansea.”
London, Jul 5 - Work to repair bulker Pasha Bulker is under way, now that the vessel is safe and secure alongside the berth at Western Basin No.4. The vessel was successfully refloated on Monday night and was towed by five tugs into the port of Newcastle yesterday lunchtime. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said that her successful berthing was a great result after more than three weeks of dedicated work by Newcastle Port Corporation, Svitzer Salvage and the many agencies and individuals who had assisted. “Oil-spill response teams will continue to monitor the vessel and its surrounds. Booms are being placed around the vessel and there has been no observation of oil” Mr Webb said.
London, Jul 3 - Divers are currently assessing damage to the hull of bulker Pasha Bulker in order to establish her seaworthy condition and whether she will have to go into Newcastle for temporary repairs. The vessel was towed off Nobby's Beach by three salvage tugs at 2140 last night. She is currently 11 nautical miles off Newcastle and is accompanied by the three salvage tugs Pacific Responder, Keera and Woona. Salvage master Drew Shannon said the operation had now entered its second phase, but that it may take several days to assess the damage to the hull. Newcastle Port Corporation Chief executive Gary Webb said that while the vessel was now at sea, there still remained a significant amount of work to do before the salvage operation was completed. “Our oil-pollution response teams, including the tug Shirley Smith, ground crews and aerial surveillance personnel, will continue to monitor the coastline and the area surrounding the vessel,” Mr Webb said. “I am pleased to advise that ground surveillance undertaken since Pasha Bulker was towed to sea has no evidence of oil.”
London, Jul 2 - A Svitzer Salvage report, dated today, states: At about 2130, local time, this evening the heavily grounded bulker Pasha Bulker was successfully refloated by the Svitzer Salvage. The vessel hard run ground during extreme weather conditions near Newcastle, Australia, about a month ago. Preparations for this salvage took about a month and included laying out groundtackles, preparing the vessel for the use of regaining buoyancy techniques and oil transfer to reduce chances on pollution. In the meantime the vessel was ballasted down, inclusive of filling up holds, to allow it to survive further storms. All preparations were aimed at a refloating attempt on Jun 28, whereby the attempt itself was divided in two stages: pulling the bow to sea and subsequently, after internal movement of the centre of gravity more forward, refloating the vessel to sea. The first attempt succeeded in turning the vessel lightly but considerable swell and breakers resulted in two of the three tug wires breaking and one of the three groundtackles parting. Spare gear was moved in from Svitzer Salvage warehouses in Singapore to be able to re-rig the systems and two days later, on Jul 1, a second attempt was executed. The Svitzer Salvage team then succeeded in the first goal: turning the bow to sea. Over the following 24 hours the centre of gravity was moved forward to provide extra lift to the stern and today the vessel was successfully refloated. The vessel will now be stabilised offshore to prepare it for delivery.
Sydney, Jun 29 - Salvage crews will wait until Saturday night to make a second attempt to refloat the stranded bulker Pasha Bulker. NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said a 1.9-metre high tide was forecast for 2013. AEST, Saturday, which would provide optimal conditions to refloat the vessel, which ran aground on a Newcastle beach in a storm on Jun 8. A first attempt to shift the ship failed and three cables attaching the ship to tugs or sea anchors have snapped. Mr Tripodi said that Pasha Bulker had steadied after an initial attempt to move it on Thursday night, and preparations would continue on Friday ahead of Saturday’s attempt. “Further progress overnight, including another one degree of movement, has taken total movement to nine degrees since yesterday’s even high tide,” Mr Tripodi said. “The salvage team has advised it will concentrate on preparing Pasha Bulker today ahead of the attempted refloat on Saturday.” Newcastle Ports Corporation chief Gary Webb said the next attempt to move Pasha Bulker would be made on high tide at about 1930 hrs, Friday. On Thursday night the tow line to tug Keera, snapped as the salvage team was attempting to turn Pasha Bulker around on the high tide to point seaward. Early Friday, the line to tug Pacific Responder snapped as the tug struggled in strong winds. Later, cables attaching a sea anchor to Pasha Bulker also parted, Mr Tripodi said. Pacific Responder will bring the sea anchor into port for assessment on Friday and it will be repositioned on Saturday ahead of the attempted refloating. The tow line from Keera will be reconnected Friday, and Pacific Responder will be reconnected on Saturday, Mr Tripodi said. “A helicopter will be used to reconnect the tow lines,” he said. Three cables remain attached to Pasha Bulker, one connecting it to tug Woona and two holding it to sea anchors. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said the salvage team was now pumping more water ballast into the ship to stabilise it on the sandbank. The ballast will be pumped out again before any attempt to refloat the ship. Mr Webb said the tides would remain favourable for the salvage operation until Jul 4. - Lloyd’s Agents.
|02 July 2007
The bulk carrier Pasha Bulker has been pulled free from Newcastle's Nobbys Beach.
The 40,000 tonne coal carrier was guided to deeper water by three tugs at about 2137 (AEST) today.
The ship was pulled free from the sand and reef that had held it since it ran aground during a wild storm three weeks ago.
The conditions tonight are very different to those of June 8, with calm seas and offshore winds under a brilliant full moon.
An oil spill response team on standby is monitoring the ship closely.
Tomorrow divers are expected to examine the ship's hull for damage.
Cheering could be heard from the deck of the ship as it quickly moved to deeper waters.
It began its journey within seconds of NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi saying that it was uncertain whether it would move tonight, although good progress had been made to that point.
The ship appeared to be about 500 metres offshore by about 2141 AEST and was still moving.
The ship moved off silently, with no noise as it came off the reef. The first sound that could be heard from the ship was a ``yahoo'' from one of the members of the salvage team.
Mr Tripodi was happy to see the Pasha Bulker finally move off.
"We're happy to see it off," he told Sky News.
Mr Tripodi praised the work of the salvage team and the Newcastle Ports Corporation.
"It's the result of a team working together to achieve a result for the environment, for Newcastle and for everyone involved," he said.
"It's just great to see this ship moving out to sea peacefully, quietly and most importantly we hope without leaving any oil behind."
Authorities had remained on high alert for oil spills, after two leaks were detected during last night's salvage effort.
Conditions tonight were perfect for what was the third attempt to refloat the ship, with calm seas and a high tide.
The ship is being pulled out to deeper water.
Divers will tomorrow inspect the full extent of the damage.
Emergency response crews immediately began scouring the beach for signs of an oil spill.
Newcastle Ports Corporation officials hugged and kissed as the ship started moving.
They had been part of a team headed by Mr Tripodi that had kept the media informed of developments since the salvage began.
Within minutes of being freed, the ship was hundreds of metres out to sea and the attention of the land-based salvage teams turned to where they would celebrate tonight.
|24 June 2007 to 27 June 2007
Portsmouth, UK, Jun 27 - Supply Athena (4316 gt, built 2002), a Bourbon multi-purpose supply vessel operating under contract with TOTAL E&P Congo, reported a technical incident provoking entry of water in the engine-room. It was 15 nautical miles off the coast of Congo, in transit between the oil fields of Likouala and East Tchibouela. In conformity with Bourbon and TOTAL Safety Management procedures, emergency committees were put in place immediately, on site in Pointe Noire and in France. The anchor was dropped to immobilise the vessel and the engine compartments were cut off. The 26 crew members and 37 technicians were immediately evacuated onto the TOTAL barge situated in the vicinity. Athena was then towed by supply Achille, a Bourbon fleet anchor handling tug supply vessel also under contract with TOTAL E & P Congo, to the outer roads of Pointe Noire. Pumping and water tightness of the hull are in progress before transferring the vessel to a shipyard for dry dock and repair. - Correspondent.
London, Jun 26 - A press report, dated today, states: An attempt to refloat bulker Pasha Bulker has been postponed until Thursday evening (Jun 28). Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said he had been advised the salvage operation had been pushed back by 24 hours because equipment on the vessel's deck would not be ready for an attempted refloat on Wednesday. He said the decision was made on Tuesday afternoon by Drew Shannon, shore-side salvage master of Svitzer Salvage. "The plan was to attempt to refloat as early as Wednesday evening, now likely to be attempted on Thursday, should all preparations be completed and all conditions suitable," Mr Tripodi said. Mr Tripodi earlier said freeing the Pasha Bulker was likely to take more than one attempt.
London, Jun 26 - A press report, dated today, states: An attempt to refloat bulker Pasha Bulker will be made as early as tomorrow. Tugs hauled three sea anchors and their connecting cables, into place yesterday as the process of mapping the sea-floor was completed. The salvage company, Svitzer Shore-side Salvage, has said final preparations can be made throughout tomorrow with the first attempt to winch the vessel into deep water, possibly after nightfall. "While it is our intent to attempt a refloat as early as Wednesday evening, there remain a number of conditions that must be met including the weather," company master Drew Shannon said. The preparations will also include pumping out the tonnes of seawater that were poured into one of the vessel's holds, where it has acted as ballast to fix the vessel to the seabed. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said the vessel is damaged but the unbreached hull "continues to stand up well". "We continue to monitor the ship's condition through our Incident Control Centre (and) our oil spill response team remains on standby," he said. Activity around the vessel is expected to increase over today and tomorrow as final preparations are made before the refloat attempt.
London, Jun 25 - A Newcastle Port Corporation press release, dated today, states: An air exclusion zone is now in force around bulker Pasha Bulker. The exclusion zone came into effect this morning to ensure the safety of the salvage team working on bulker Pasha Bulker. The team is using a heavy lift helicopter and salvage tugs in the lead up to the refloating attempt. CEO of Newcastle Port Corporation, Gary Webb, said the air exclusion zone was one nautical mile in diameter and extended to an altitude of 2,500 feet around the vessel. He said the only air craft allowed in the exclusion zone would be those approved by the Incident Control Centre. The zone complements a waterside exclusion zone which has been in effect since last Thursday. Mr Webb said the anchor handling tug Pacific Responder, was laying a third sea anchor today. It will be connected to the stern of bulker Pasha Bulker after two sea anchors were connected to the bow of the vessel during the weekend. We anticipate a hydrographic survey will be completed today and this will assist in the gathering of information for the salvage team as it prepares for refloating the vessel, Mr Webb said.
London, Jun 25 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvage teams have laid the three anchors and connecting sea cables that they will use in a bid to winch bulker Pasha Bulker from a sandbar off a Newcastle beach on the New South Wales coast. Newcastle Port Corporation spokesman Keith Powell said the anchors and cables had been successfully positioned by tugs. If all goes to plan, the vessel will be towed out to sea by the end of the week, Mr Powell said. "The three anchors have been laid today and with the hydrographic survey we can see the sea floor depths and move from there. The hydrographic survey was completed today and is part of the information gathered and fed back to the salvage team. But it's a continuing effort from the 20 crew who are on board the vessel."
London, Jun 25 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvage crews were today set to lay the third crucial anchor in efforts to refloat bulker Pasha Bulker. Over the weekend, tugs connected two anchors to the bow of the vessel. One of the four tugs involved, Pacific Responder, will today connect the third anchor to the vessel's stern. Svitzer Salvage today would not comment on reports that structural damage to the ship could compromise the operation. The Newcastle Port Corporation is expected to give an update on the mission later today. Svitzer Salvage's Drew Shannon on Friday said the salvage team was on target to carry out the refloat plan on spring tides at the end of this month.
|23 June 2007
London, Jun 23 - A press report, dated today, states: Bulker Pasha Bulker may be broken up for scrap rather than refloated, a newspaper report said on Saturday (Jun 23). The head of a salvage team working on the vessel said that the cost of refloating the vessel and fixing its damaged hull was so close to the vessel's $AU41 million replacement price that it was not financially viable. The salvage team leader said breaking up the vessel would take more than six months. The vessel's 11,000 to 12,000 tonnes of steel, which would fetch several million dollars, could then be melted down and recycled, he said.
|From 11 to 21 June 2007
London, Jun 21 - Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said the anchor handling tug Pacific Responder has arrived at the port of Newcastle to help salvage the stranded bulker Pasha Bulker. It will be joining two other tugs, Woona and Keera, to lay sea anchors and chains in the operation to save the Pasha Bulker by winching it off the sandbar and out to sea. Oil spill response vessel Shirley Smith is still standing by as a precautionary measure while fuel oil is pumped from the bulker's lower tanks to safer tanks higher on the vessel. A spokeswoman for Newcastle Ports Corporation says the team aims to complete the fuel-oil pumping tomorrow.
London, June 20 - A press report, dated today, states: Stranded bulker 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. "Pasha Bulker is still standing up well to the conditions." Mr Powell said the weather bureau's warnings of storm-force winds saw 69 bulk carriers, which had been waiting to enter Newcastle Port, sail out into open waters yesterday. "They are still out to sea. We have a heavy entrance in the port and we have restrictions at the present moment," he said. Newcastle Port chairman Wilton Ainsworth said "detailed planning" was continuing in the effort to refloat Pasha Bulker. About 25 people were working on the salvage project this week, down from about 55 in the days following the ship's beaching, he said. "These people have been pulled away from their normal duties, which has placed a strain on their own organisations," Mr Ainsworth said. "Many people will return next week as we progress towards safely attempting to refloat the Pasha Bulker." Groups involved in planning for the refloat attempt, along with specialist company Svitzer Salvage, include NSW police, several port authorities, Nobbys Surf Life Saving Club, NSW Maritime, the Australian Maritime Oil Spill Centre and the NSW Department of Environment.
London, Jun 19 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvage crews suspended work on bulker Pasha Bulker today ahead of the third major storm in two weeks to hit Australia's east coast, prompting authorities to close parks and beaches. The Bureau of Meteorology said waves up to seven metres and gale-force winds with gusts of up to 120 km/ were set to batter coastal areas of New South Wales state from early tomorrow. Authorities are concerned the ship could break up under more pounding waves. "The salvage team plan to stay on board overnight. The vessel is holding up well. But there is obviously concern if the vessel continues to take this type of weather," Newcastle Port Authority chief executive Gary Webb told reporters. More than 50 other coal ships, waiting offshore to enter the port, headed for deeper waters today to ride out the latest storm, which comes as NSW records its second wettest June on record. The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the total damage bill from the storms at A$270 million ($227 million), but NSW state Premier Morris Iemma today said the damage bill could top A$1 billion.
London, Jun 19 - A press report, timed 1625, WST, today, states: Bulker Pasha Bulker grounded on a Newcastle beach is in for another battering from the ocean, but salvage experts said it has been standing up well to the conditions. Huge seas and strong winds are due again tonight and tomorrow as another intense storm menaces the New South Wales coast. The Newcastle Port Corporation said more than 50 bulk carriers in waters beyond the Pasha Bulker have headed further out to sea ahead of the forecast wild weather. Another 16 vessels anchored off the coast followed suit. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said winds up to 55 knots and seas of up to seven metres were expected to reach the Hunter coast overnight. The weather put the salvage of Pasha Bulker on hold. "The salvage team is aware of the impending weather conditions and is securing equipment onboard the vessel in readiness," Mr Webb said. "The 22-member team will stay onboard Pasha Bulker overnight with the view to recommencing their work tomorrow depending on weather conditions." Mr Webb said Pasha Bulker was standing up well under the current weather conditions. NSW Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett said the on-board salvage crew would be troubleshooting during the storm, and would be monitoring for any oil spills throughout the night. "The crew are confident it is holding up well and that it will continue to hold up well," Mr Patchett said. Oil spill response resources had been moved closer to the beach earlier this week, and the oil spill combat team was on stand-by, he said.
London, Jun 19 - A press report, timed 1305 (local time), today, states: Port authorities in eastern Australia are concerned the grounded bulker Pasha Bulker could break up in wild weather that is forecast to hit the region late today. The weather bureau is warning of flash flooding and destructive winds with wind gusts expected to reach 125 kilometres per hour. Several other coal ships waiting off Newcastle's coast have moved further out to sea to ride out the storms. The head of the Newcastle Port Corporation, Gary Webb, says Pasha Bulker is holding up well on the beach, but intense storms could cause problems. "The advice we've got is that the ship is standing up quite well. I was on board nearly a week ago now and the top deck was looking quite firm, quite strong and the advice we're continuing to get is that it's standing up well. Weather conditions like this, though, do continue to put the ship under stress," he says.
London, Jun 18 - A press report, dated today, states: A tug central to the salvage operation of bulker Pasha Bulker, will arrive on scene on Thursday (Jun 21). Tug Pacific Responder is sailing from Cairns to Newcastle(NSW) ahead of the big tides necessary for refloating the 40,000 tonne vessel. The tug, which is 64 metres in length, will assist in laying sea anchors and chains as part of the salvage of Pasha Bulker. The salvage plan also involves three other vessels: the salvage tugs Woona and Keera and the oil spill response vessel Shirley Smith. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb said the Shirley Smith would remain in Newcastle as a precautionary measure while fuel oil was pumped from Pasha Bulker's lower tanks to safer tanks higher on the vessel. "The pumping of fuel oil is expected to take until Friday (Jun 22) and Shirley Smith will return to Sydney," Mr Webb said. "It will then sail back to Newcastle for the refloating of Pasha Bulker on spring tides later in June."
London, Jun 18 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 0100, UTC: Bulker Pasha Bulker remains aground in the same position. Salvage operations are continuing.
London, Jun 15 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvors are currently transferring some of the 700 tons of fuel oil from tanks at the bottom of bulker Pasha Bulker to those higher up. So far, there has been no spill. Salvors have also temporarily filled one of the middle holds with water to make the ship heavier. Bob Purser, spokesman for the Newcastle Ports Commission, said this would keep the vessel from moving and settling deeper into the sand, which would make it harder to shift when the time comes. The salvage operation is being complicated by a hole below the waterline leaking into the space between the vessel's double hull, although Purser said the ship's pumps were having little trouble coping. The plan is to "kedge" the vessel off the reef, which involves using the power of its own winches to pull it off. "The key vessel will be the anchor-handling vessel, which will lay anchors out to sea and also feed cables back to the Pasha Bulker's on board winches, assisting the ship to move off the seabed and be refloated," the salvage master Drew Shannon said today. Tanks at the bottom of the vessel were being readied for "air-blowing," which forces water out of the ship floor and creates buoyancy, according to the salvage master. "While this process requires a number of key factors to be in place, we remain confident that we will be in a position to refloat the vessel during the next spring tides," Shannon said. Those tides are expected at the end of the month but there is little guarantee that there will be enough water to float Pasha Bulker over the reef.
London Jun 15 - A press report, dated today, states: An attempt to refloat bulker Pasha Bulker will be delayed until the end of June as preparations continue for the salvage of the vessel . Work on the transfer of fuel and oil from "vulnerable'' tanks lower in the vessel to higher and safer tanks, which is being led by Svitzer, a unit of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, is continuing, New South Wales Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said today in an e-mailed statement. It won't be completed in time for high seasonal tides due this weekend, he said. "The refloating of the Pasha Bulker, led by the internationally recognized salvage operator Svitzer Salvage, cannot be rushed,'' Tripodi said in the statement. "The salvage team is now looking to the next set of higher tides, near the end of June.''
London, Jun 15 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 2341, UTC, Jun 14: Bulker Pasha Bulker is still aground and salvage preparations are continuing.
London, Jun 14 - The panamax bulker Pasha Bulker remains beached close south of the harbour entrance on Nobbys Beach. There is the likelihood that the salvors will not be ready to attempt a refloating of the vessel in time for the spring tides this Sunday (Jun 16) and Monday. Therefore, there is a possibility that the vessel will remain beached off Newcastle until the spring tides in July.
London, Jun 13 - A press report, dated today, states: Equipment to contain an oil spill is being moved from Newcastle port to a holding area near the stranded bulker Pasha Bulker as a "precautionary measure" only, authorities say. Port corporation chief Gary Webb said the gear was being moved to a carpark at Nobby's Beach, where it can be moved quickly in the event of a fuel leak from the 225-metre bulk carrier. "Equipment for salvage and oil pollution response has arrived in Newcastle and will continue to do so," Mr Webb said. "Oil pollution equipment is being taken to Nobby's Beach as a precautionary measure as the salvage team continues its detailed assessment of the vessel." The team has found a breach in the vessel's outer hull but a secondary inner hull remains intact. Mr Webb said work on board the vessel continued on Wednesday (Jun 13) to fill or "ballast" a massive cargo hold with seawater, in a bid to fix the vessel more firmly on the seafloor and prevent any further movement and potential damage. Work also continued to pump the vessel's load of fuel into higher parts of the vessel, away from vulnerable areas. The Melbourne-based tug boat Keera arrived in Newcastle about 0830, AEST, joining the Woona, from Sydney, which arrived on Monday. These vessels, along with a further "anchor handling vessel", will be used in the plan to refloat the vessel and tow it back into open waters. Preparatory work on how this will be achieved is now under way.
London, Jun 13 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 2351, UTC, Jun 12: Preparations are continuing for the salvage of bulker Pasha Bulker. Understand additional tugs may be brought in from Singapore.
London, Jun 13 - A press report, dated Jun 12, states: A salvage tug and special clean-up equipment have arrived in Newcastle to help in the battle to stabilise and safeguard the fuel oil load of stranded bulker Pasha Bulker. A salvage team is continuing to carry out an assessment of the vessel, which has been aground at Nobby's Beach, 160 km north of Sydney, since last Friday (Jun 8). A second specialised salvage tug is expected at the scene tomorrow, but authorities say it is "extremely unlikely" the vessel will be refloated in one day. The Maritime Union of Australia today warned the salvage operation would be extremely difficult. The salvage team has reported a hole in the vessel's external hull, but it remains confident a second internal hull has not been pierced. MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the main objective was to refloat and salve the vessel without a leakage of fuel oil, but it would be a high risk operation. "While the vessel is double-hulled we know there is at least a primary breach in the hull," Mr Crumlin said. "If we cannot float the vessel, the challenge will be to extract the fuel oil before it leaks into the ocean - a major logistical operation." Crew on Pasha Bulker have been transferring fuel oil to tanks in the safer upper levels of the stricken vessel. Salvage tug Woona arrived at Nobby's Beach yesterday from Sydney, while firefighting tug Keera is en route from Melbourne. A third tug is on standby in Brisbane. Newcastle Port Corporation Chief Executive Gary Webb said some of the salvage equipment had been flown to the vessel by helicopter while most of the equipment remained within a restricted area in the port. "Additional oil pollution equipment is continuing to arrive as a precautionary measure to supplement that already held by Newcastle Port Corporation," Mr Webb said. "The use of a vessel capable of carrying large, heavy salvage anchors is also being considered." Authorities are hopeful the operation will get under way soon as weather conditions ease, but winds are forecast to pick up later in the week. Maritime NSW spokesman Neil Patchett said it was still too early to predict when the vessel could be refloated. Newcastle Port Corporation chief executive Gary Webb also said the task of refloating the vessel was a complex one and planning was under way. Newcastle port reopened this afternoon.
London, Jun 12 - A press report, dated Australia Jun 13, states: The operation to refloat bulker Pasha Bulker off Newcastle's Nobbys Beach has been stepped up. Specialised anchor-handling vessel Pacific Salvor is heading to Newcastle to join two salvage tugs. A decision to attempt the salvage could come as early as next Monday (Jun 18) if weather and sea conditions permit. An emergency response team is on standby should the vessel begin leaking fuel. Tonnes of equipment, including 3.4 km of flotation booms to protect the foreshore, have been transported from Sydney and Brisbane just in case. Sydney Ports marine manager Graham Edgley said if any leaking oil were detected, the response team could act within 30 minutes. A survey of the vessel's hull has found a breach in its outer hull, which has taken in water, but the inner hull is sound. The owners, Fukujin Kisen KK, have flown an engineer from Japan to Newcastle to work with the salvage team. The vessels No.4 hold was being filled with ballast water yesterday to make its hull more stable on the sandy bottom of Nobbys Beach. The ship had up to 800 tonnes of fuel on board. Once free, the carrier is likely to be towed to Japan for repairs. Newcastle Port Corporation's chief executive, Gary Webb, said the port resumed working yesterday after being closed by heavy seas since Friday. Up to four ships left the port with cargoes yesterday and last night.
Sydney, Jun 12 - Bulker Pasha Bulker: The Minister for Ports, Joe Tripodi, will today inspect specialised equipment arriving in Newcastle as part of the salvage operation of the vessel. Salvage equipment is coming from many parts of Australia and includes tug Woona, which has already arrived in port. A second tug, Keera, is on its way from Melbourne and is expected to arrive tomorrow in Newcastle. The salvage team is working on an option to source an anchor-handling vessel. The No 4 hold of the vessel is being ballasted by water to assist in its stabilisation on Nobbys Beach. The salvage team is planning to pump fuel oil from bottom tanks to upper tanks as part of its work. - Lloyd's Agents.
London, Jun 12 - Port report Jun 12: Newcastle: The bad weather which affected the Newcastle region on Thursday (Jun 7), Friday and Saturday has abated and weather conditions are now good. Rain around the region was between 300-200mm. The swell has now reduced down to approx 3-4 metres maximum. The panamax bulker Pasha Bulker remains beached close south of the harbour entrance on Nobbys Beach. The vessel is sound and is not expected to break up. Salvage crews have been on board since Saturday morning along with the vessels Master and senior. There has been no evidence of fuel leaking from the vessel and we understand salvors are shifting bunkers to higher tanks. There is no indication of when an attempt will be made to refloat the vessel.
Sydney, Jun 12 - Salvors have now removed the majority of the fuel from bulker Pasha Bulker. - Lloyd's Agents.
London, Jun 12 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 2331, UTC, Jun 11: Bulker Pasha Bulker is still aground and a number of cracks have been observed in the vessel's hull. According to current estimates, the earliest a refloating attempt can be made is Jun 28.
London, Jun 11 - A press report, dated today, states: The salvage team working to remove the 40,000 tonne bulker Pasha Bulker off a Newcastle beach say they have discovered a hole in the external hull of the coal carrier. But they are confident a second internal hull has not been pierced. NSW Maritime said the specialised salvage tug Woona from Sydney arrived at Nobby's Beach at 0815, AEST, today, and a second salvage tug from Melbourne, the Keera, was scheduled to arrive off the NSW Hunter region coast on Wednesday morning. "The inspection on board Pasha Bulker has reported back that there is a hole in the bottom," NSW Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett said. "It's understandable. It took a punch in the bottom as it was pushed across the reef." But, Mr Patchett, said the Pasha Bulker was "double-bottomed" so water was not entering the internal skin, and at the moment there was no sign of oil leaking outside the vessel.
|11 June 2007
London, Jun 11 - A press report, dated Jun 10, states: The beached bulker Pasha Bulker, carrying more than 200,000 gallons of fuel oil, withstood pounding waves with no signs of leaking as maritime officials today expressed hope of removing the vessel. Authorities urged thousands of Australians to evacuate as floodwaters surged from three days of wild weather. Nine people have been killed since storms began on Friday (Jun 8) near the port city of Newcastle, 90 miles north of Sydney. About 5,000 people in the towns of Maitland and Singleton were ordered to leave their homes late today, as the state's emergency co-ordinator warned the nearby Hunter River could rise more than 36 feet above normal height, breaching levees and flooding neighbourhoods. Hundreds of residents waited in emergency shelters run by charity groups today night, wrapped in blankets or resting on mattresses on the floor. Police today recovered the body of a 45-year-old man who was swept into a storm water drain after getting out of his flooded car on Friday. At the peak of Friday's wild weather, five members of the same family were swept to their deaths when a section of highway collapsed under their car, plunging them into a swollen creek. More than 100,000 homes from northern Sydney to the Hunter Valley, near Newcastle, were without power. Pasha Bulker had no cargo on board when it ran aground, but it was carrying more than 227,000 gallons of fuel and oil. "The hull seems to be in pretty good shape," said Neil Patchett, state maritime chief of New South Wales. "The good thing is that even though it's been taking a pounding, there have been no reports of visible signs of pollution." Three crew members were airlifted onto the stricken vessel today and managed to restore power, test onboard control systems and start up the vessel's generators. However, Patchett said it was too early to say when the vessel could be refloated.
|10 June 2007
London, Jun 10 - A
press report, dated today, states: Salvage crews are hopeful of refloating
beached bulker Pasha Bulker on the Newcastle coast as storm conditions ease
and the integrity of the vessel appears to be holding, NSW Maritime says.
Power has been partially restored to the vessel, which has been stuck on
Newcastle's popular Nobby's Beach, 160 km north of Sydney, since Friday (Jun
8). Salvage crews were airlifted onto the vessel yesterday and worked
throughout the night and today on a plan to refloat the vessel as violent
coastal conditions eased. NSW Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett said three of
the vessel's crew were airlifted to the vessel and managed to restore power,
test onboard control systems and start up the generators. "The hull seems to
be in pretty good shape," Mr Patchett said. "There's every hope that a plan
to safely remove the ship from the beach will be progressed pretty quickly."
The salvage team is assessing the size of the swell, wind speed and the tide
and salvage vessels and equipment are being brought in from interstate and
overseas, Mr Patchett said. "There's a few factors at play in the salvage
operation so it's not possible to put a time frame on it unfortunately," he
said. The salvage crew will continue to assess the possibility of
transferring fuel to more protected tanks on the vessel. Mr Patchett said an
oil spill contingency plan was still in place with dozens of personnel from
several authorities on standby in case of an environmental disaster.
London, Jun 10 - A
press report, dated today, states: A salvage team inspected bulker Pasha
Bulker for a second time today and has confirmed it is structurally sound
and is not leaking oil. The Port Corporation's CEO, Gary Webb, says several
salvage measures are being considered. "The options are clearly in the hands
of the salvage master to put forward to the harbour master as the incident
controller," he said. "Clearly in bringing international and national
equipment they're looking at things such as extra tugs, extra equipment,
extra anchors, extra chains."
London, Jun 10 - A
press report, dated today, states: A salvage crew was winched aboard
grounded bulker Pasha Bulker at Nobbys Beach in Newcastle yesterday. Initial
reports from the United Salvage team suggested the vessel was sturdy enough
to hold the 780 tonnes of oils and fuel on board. Up to 12 salvage experts
were hoisted onto the deck of the vessel, along with air compressors, water
hoses, generators and electrical equipment. They were hoping to restore
power to the vessel. NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said the starboard side
of the vessel appeared to be damaged. The Australian Maritime Safety
Authority conducted a surveillance flight yesterday and reported no
pollution visible near the vessel.Port corporation chief Gary Webb said the
salvage crew had gathered more information from the vessel's Korean master.
Newcastle police inspector David Matthews said early assessments suggested
the vessel was not in immediate danger of breaking up or spilling oil.
|09 June 2007
London, Jun 9 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvage crews have started to board bulker Pasha Bulker in an effort to salve the vessel. Four emergency workers have so far been winched to the ship by helicopter, with another six to eight expected to board her soon. The workers are carrying generators, pumps, pipes and lighting which will be used to ensure the power can be restored and the ship, hopefully, returned to sea. Newcastle port co-operation CEO Gary Webb said a they were taking advantage of a lull in the weather to attempt to salve Pasha Bulker but a severe weather front is expected to slow their progress later this afternoon.
London, Jun 9 - A
press report, dated today, states: A slight lull in wild weather is offering
a brief window of opportunity for a salvage team to board bulker Pasha
Bulker stranded just off a New South Wales beach. A fly-over by a maritime
safety authority aircraft this morning found no sign of pollutants leaking
from the ship, which is carrying more than 700 tonnes of fuel and oil. NSW
Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett said the salvage team was making its final
preparations before attempting to board the ship, which is stuck on a reef
at Nobby's Beach, 160 km north of Sydney. Difficult weather conditions had
so far hindered the team's access of the boat by helicopter but easing winds
meant they hoped to be able to get aboard and carry out their inspection.
There was added urgency to their mission as forecasts suggest the return of
powerful winds later in the day. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority
aircraft flew over the vessel earlier to see the extent of damage to the
double-hull. "The AMSA aircraft flew over earlier this morning and they
reported there was no visible sign of oil leaking from the vessel, which is
good news," Mr Patchett said. The salvage team's findings on the state of
the hull would determine what can be done to salvage the ship. "Contingency
arrangements cover shoreline clean up on any affected beaches and protection
of Newcastle Harbour," Mr Patchett said. NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said
there were signs of damage on the starboard side of the ship.
London, Jun 9 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 2328, UTC, Jun 8: Bulker Pasha Bulker is still aground. Salvage crews will board the vessel later today to assess the situation. At present, there is no pollution.
|08 June 2007
London, Jun 8 - A press report, dated Jun 9, states: As the stricken bulker Pasha Bulker lay poised to flood Newcastle's beaches with 700 tonnes of shipping oil last night, an investigation was being planned into why it and other vessels did not heed warnings to get away from the shore before yesterday's storms struck. The Newcastle Ports Corporation radioed 56 cargo vessels queuing to load coal at 0500, yesterday and warned them to move out to sea. Other warnings were issued on Thursday (Jun 7) night. All but 11 vessels heeded the call. There was speculation the ships' captains might have taken a calculated risk that they could ride out the storm. A spokeswoman for the corporation described the weather as extraordinary. "There is a 17.95 metre swell. We knew the weather that was coming, and they were warned, but there have been issues with [the ships leaving]." NSW Maritime could not confirm reports of oil washing up, saying it might be bilge water. The NSW Nature Conservation Council said that if the vessel split apart, the result would be an ecological disaster because the vessel is marooned directly in front of heritage-listed sand dunes and an iconic beach. Hazardous material teams, the State Emergency Service and maritime engineers were on site last night monitoring the vessel. As yet there was no consensus on how to free the vessel or prevent it from splitting apart and drenching the coast in oil. A team from United Salvage, a marine salvage company, arrived at the site yesterday with a contract from the owners to try and save the vessel. A Maritime NSW spokesman said there might be a chance to refloat the vessel at high tide today, but predictions of continuing wild weather may scotch that plan.
London, Jun 8 - A press report, dated today, states: Emergency crews are scrambling to evacuate 21 people from bulker Pasha Bulker that has run aground off Newcastle, New South Wales. The ship, which has no cargo on board, struck a sandbank near Nobby's Head about 1000, AEST. Emergency teams are planning to evacuate everyone on board, but it is not believed anyone has been injured. Newcastle Police spokesman Tony Tamplin said huge seas were delaying rescue efforts. "The evacuation hasn't begun yet, emergency crews are still trying to work out how to get to the ship," he said. "The sea is very rough, waves are crashing over the boat." The Newcastle Coastal Patrol said the ship's fuel tanks were not believed to be damaged and a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said there were no reports of any pollution from the vessel. NSW Ambulance Service spokesman Neil Hargreaves said 21 crew were believed to be on board, and the Port Authority of Newcastle was in the process of sending out a tug to try to pull the stricken vessel to safety. "We have no reports of any injuries on board, but we have 20 personnel on standby. We've got 12 ambulance crews on the ground, and two helicopters waiting, each with four crew." Mr Hargreaves said a joint police and ambulance service command centre had been set up on Nobby's Head, and that the centre was in constant contact with the ship's crew and the Port Authority. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jane Golding said conditions in the Newcastle area were expected to worsen today. "Winds at the moment are gusting up to 100km/h, with a mean wind speed of 78km/h. We expect those to continue during the day." She said strong winds were whipping up waves of up to 5m, with an additional 2m swell. The swell is forecast to increase to up to three and a half metres during the day, and more heavy rain is also expected. "The heaviest rain is starting to move down there at the moment, and we don't expect it to ease until tonight. Since 0900 hrs we've had around 20mm of rain in the area."
London, Jun 8 - A press report, dated today, states: A major emergency is underway in Newcastle with bulker Pasha Bulker breaking its mooring and running aground 50 metres off a beach this morning. Authorities are frantically working to avert a potentially major environmental disaster as the ship, with 21 crew on board, threatens to move closer towards Nobbys Beach, near the Newcastle Baths. Acting Inspector Kirren Steel, at Newcastle Police, said the ship was "balancing just on the reef'' between 50 and 100 metres off the beach. Massive waves are crashing into and over the ship, with the bow swinging towards the beach. Pasha Bulker has 700 tonnes of heavy fuel and 34 tonnes of diesel on board. It does not have any coal on board. It had been due to pick up a load 68,000 tonnes of coal on Jun 12. The crew members will stay on board to help attach lines from two tugs that have been mobilised. A local port authority helicopter, as well as a Westpac helicopter, had circled the stricken ship however unrelenting gales meant any evacuation at this stage unlikely. Ships are normally anchored two to five kilometres off the coast but the wild weather, including winds of more than 100 kilometres an hour, had caused it to break its moorings. Two ambulance helicopters are on the ground. A spokesman for ambulance media said they would be launched after the Ports Authority's first attempts to pull the ship from where it is lodged. "From what I understand the Ports Authority are putting their tug out to see if it can pull it off the reef. A command post has been set up there, with police and ambulance officers,'' he said. A number of ambulances are in Nobbys car park waiting to treat crew if necessary when they are brought from the ship. Ambulance media said there were 21 crew on board, but no injuries had been reported.
London, Jun 8 - Following received from Australia RCC, timed 0115, UTC: A report was received approximately one hour ago that bulker Pasha Bulker (40042 gt, built 2006), in ballast, was aground in approximately lat 32 55 18S, long 151 47 43.7E. The vessel's crew, believed to be 21 persons, is in the process of being taken off at the moment.
|CAUSE OF THE DAMAGE
At this time, cause of the grounding are under investigation. First information provided by Australian authorities seems to point out a the exceptional bad weather which led the ship to ground on the beach.
|USD 35 000 000 (AUD 41 000 000, see above)
|Lloyd's List 19 April 2007
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