Pasha Bulker finally at sea

3 Jul 2007 0 Share

Pasha Bulker

Pasha Bulker

The residents of Newcastle are celebrating this morning following the successful refloating of the Pasha Bulker which had run aground on Nobbys Beach during the storms of June 8.

The vessel was towed to sea by three salvage tugs at about 9.40pm last night in front of a captivated audience of well-wishers.

The Pasha Bulker is currently 11 nautical miles off Newcastle and is accompanied by the three salvage tugs, Pacific Responder, Keera and Woona.

Ports Minister Joe Tripodi commended the efforts of all involved giving credit to Newcastle Port Corporation, Svitzer Salvage and the Newcastle community.

“This outcome is the result of tremendous team work. The NSW Government recognises the expertise of the many individuals and organisations that have been involved,” Mr Tripodi said.

“More than 100 people worked around the clock during the past 25 days, led by Newcastle Port Corporation’s Incident Control Centre.

Newcastle Port Corporation CEO Gary Webb said that whilst 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 the Pasha Bulker was towed to sea has no evidence of oil.

“A team of salvage divers will today inspect the damage to the vessel and provide the salvage master with a full report, before any decision on her future is made.
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“We thank the people of Newcastle for their patience and cooperation during the past few weeks.

“The NSW Police will assess the pedestrian and traffic management plan this morning. The air exclusion zone will be lifted today, however the water exclusion zone off Nobbys Beach remains in place until further notice to allow the retrieval of sea anchors and associated equipment, and also inspection of the seabed,” he said.

Member for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, thanked the people of her electorate for their patience, cooperation and goodwill.

MEDIA ALERT: A MEDIA CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT NOBBYS BEACH, NEWCASTLE AT 9:30AM (TUESDAY 3 JULY).

IN ATTENDANCE WILL BE THE SHORELINE SALVAGE MASTER FOR SVITZER SALVAGE, DREW SHANNON, PORTS MINISTER JOE TRIPODI AND NEWCASTLE PORT CORPORATION CEO GARY WEBB.

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