An operation is taking place to tow a cargo ship that got stranded off the Royal national park south of Sydney, after efforts to approach the vessel were stalled due to wild weather.
drifting Pacific Basin handysize has managed to drop anchor 1.8km from a Sydney beach. Namely, “Portland Bay” lost power in a storm and had been drifting back to shore.
After the incident, an attempt to winch all 21 crew members from the vessel had to be aborted because of bad weather conditions. Now, the New South Wales Port Authority’s John Finch, who was placed in control of the cargo ship, said he was “hopeful” it would be on its way by July 5, after all three tugs had arrived to move the vessel into safer waters.
Preliminary advice from the ship’s crew was the vessel’s turbo engine blower had failed which would be a “relatively straightforward repair” taking four to six hours.
Early attempts by emergency services to rescue the stranded Portland Bay bulk carrier were obstructed by wild seas and torrid conditions. An aerial mission to winch the 21 crew members to safety was called off.
By mid-afternoon, three tugboats were deployed near the ship to stabilise the 170-metre long vessel and stop it from drifting further from its precarious position 1.8km from the shore.
The master of the vessel intends to keep the crew onboard the ship after an initial plan to rescue the passengers stalled.