Monday May 29, 2023

NSW ship saga continues as weather eases



A Hong Kong cargo ship remains anchored near Port Botany after losing power off the NSW coast, as authorities try to work out how to get it moving again.

The 170-metre bulk carrier Portland Bay has been stranded off the coast since losing power while travelling north from Port Kembla early on Monday.

Tug boats have moved the ship further up the coast. However, plans to take it out to sea were hampered by severe weather, including swells up to 11-metres.

“Tow lines broke in the extreme weather and ocean conditions … The ship was moved northwards towards a more sheltered location,” Port Authority of NSW CEO Philip Holliday said on Tuesday.

As the weather clears enough to allow the resumption of commercial shipping, agencies involved in the operation will meet on Wednesday morning to consider the options for the stranded vessel.

It’s believed a turbo fan on the ship is responsible for the debacle. It would take about half a day to fix – if the ship can dock.

Portland Bay is double anchored about 1.2 nautical miles off Port Botany near Cronulla in Sydney’s south.

Getting the ship moving again will be a “slow and considered process with many factors and steps” and safety issues to consider, the Port Authority said on Wednesday.



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