It … It was fascinating how the Salvors ignored the hype and went about their business so calmly. ONE of the most common questions was “how do you stop the vessel washing further onto the beach (or sliding uncontrolled off the beach) with tidal movements?”. In another section, the federal report notes that just after 9am, the Pasha Bulker “helmsman brought the ship back to a heading of 140º and the wind was ahead”. It was quickly confirmed that there was no oil (or a miniscule amount at worst). Days later the Pasha Bulker was towed into Newcastle Harbour for repairs. The Westpac helicopter had rescued all crew from the vessel and, with forecasts that the weather would ease, the Pasha Bulker appeared to be firmly grounded – for now. The Pasha Bulker, along with ten other ships, didn't heed the warning. A “super-tug” anchor-handling barge sourced from Asia was steaming for Newcastle. The Pasha Bulker, now in the hands of less experienced crew, was shunted north along the coast toward Port Stephens, unable to make much headway against the waves. Any attempt would be time consuming, weeks, months maybe. . If there’s a lasting legacy of the Pasha Bulker, it’s that it led to the creation of a new coal ship queuing system, where instead of the 57 ships that were anchored close into the coast back in 2007, waiting vessels now drift far out to sea, either east of Newcastle or up near New Guinea, as they wait their turn to load. So what was the secret of the success, Minister? We stopped some 40 metres from the waiting media pack and, in hushed tones, discussed what to say. Posted 7 Jun June 2017 Wed Wednesday 7 Jun June 2017 at 7:29pm Share And if only those tapes had been working . 1. And if only those tapes had been working . Shannon was hardly in the mood for small talk as we waited for Gary Webb to arrive. /images/transform/v1/crop/frm/324VkdtvqnBSp7aYw6KyqmM/d9d66506-692a-4882-a495-9e624b71b43e.jpg/r9_16_3496_1986_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg, Newcastle Herald's trusted source for property, SHARK SHOCK: Residents speak of horror as defiant locals return to water, A-League: Jets fight hard to upset Wellington and earn first win of the season, Pandemic delays opening of Nihon University campus, 'I was a shark sceptic', shocked resident says after attack, 'This is a whole different level': Best buds hit big school, W-League: Watch the goals as Jets make statement in rout of Wanderers. That created a few chuckles. The Newcastle and Hunter Region will never forget the weekend when storms and floods closed down the heart of Newcastle, the Pasha Bulker went aground on Nobbys Beach and the levee system around Maitland was pushed to its limit. Waves crashing up against the Pasha just days after it ran aground at Nobbys. Indeed, nine of the report’s 11 recommendations covered “safety issues” for NPC “to address”. The federal report found that three vessels, Santa Isabel, Sea Confidence and Pasha Bulker, were tracking north when VTIC told them they should not enter the restricted area. It pulsated back and forth from a water-side equipment assembly zone at Carrington. Pasha Bulker now pointing out to sea. You didn’t just press a few buttons in such situations and see the beached ship off. It was good that the vessel was upright and the engine room was operational. Similarly, Australian Transport Safety Bureau team leader of marine investigations Michael Squires told me at the time that the bureau had "gone over and over" the path of the Pasha Bulker, especially the turn soon after 9am when it was inside the restricted area. ... Pasha Bulker (Where Did I Go Wrong?) Literally flinging away from the beach. The underside damage might be an issue: the hull had grinded over sand and rock and water was leaking in from the starboard side. The Pasha Bulker, now in the hands of less experienced crew, was shunted north along the coast toward Port Stephens, unable to make much headway against the waves. Grounded is an abstract representation of the ship’s bow. At first light multiple media helicopters were buzzing around the Pasha Bulker (to hell with the aerial exclusion zone) looking for the mess. She’d be gone in no time.  But the biggest difference between the two reports lies in their treatment of what happened after the Pasha Bulker lifted its anchor, at about 6.30am. Indeed, nine of the report’s 11 recommendations covered “safety issues” for NPC “to address”. 3:34 PREVIEW Pasha Bulker (Where Did I Go Wrong?) . The Newcastle and Hunter Region will never forget the weekend when storms and floods closed down the heart of Newcastle, the Pasha Bulker went aground on Nobbys Beach and the levee system around Maitland was pushed to its limit. It was Drew Shannon, on board the Pasha Bulker. Gary Webb remained the front man. Egehus and I glanced at Shannon. Authorities alerted the vessels that a severe storm was approaching and requested all the vessels to move further out to sea. Pasha Bulker now pointing out to sea. The worst of the unforgettable storm that pulverised Newcastle was over but gusting wind and spluttering rain persisted as I made my way to a meeting at Honeysuckle with then NSW Treasurer and Hunter Minister Michael Costa. There was no sign that an injured Panamax freighter was about to leave the people of this busy little sea port, to whom it … I headed for my car, with only one destination in mind. The demands to talk to the blokes in orange were hot now. The first report, of 60 pages, was handed down by a state government authority, NSW Maritime, on December 5, 2007. The idea was to swing the bow until it was pointing at the ocean, then yank the vessel forward into deeper water. It wasn’t far from anyone’s mind how close the Pasha Bulker had come to crashing at the narrow channel of Newcastle Harbour, something that would have had dire economic implications given that Newcastle is the world’s biggest coal export port. In any case, given the difficult circumstances and the precarious situations some ships, including Pasha Bulker, were in, such unnecessary and irrelevant communications by VTIC could only cause confusion and were therefore inappropriate.”. Part of the Pasha Bulker's rudder, which broke off during the salvage operation, is now part of a beachside sculpture. We’re doing our best folks…. The salvage team knew she would, in all likelihood, only hold up for so long. https://players.brightcove.net/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5456925151001, Newcastle Herald's trusted source for property, The state government's NSW Maritime report on the Pasha Bulker, SHARK SHOCK: Residents speak of horror as defiant locals return to water, A-League: Jets fight hard to upset Wellington and earn first win of the season, Pandemic delays opening of Nihon University campus, 'I was a shark sceptic', shocked resident says after attack, 'This is a whole different level': Best buds hit big school, W-League: Watch the goals as Jets make statement in rout of Wanderers.   No one in the inner sanctum will forget the evening of July 2. And wasn’t she just. . This is the crucial question. Consequently, the masters of those ships that were relying on guidance from VTIC probably did not assess the risks appropriately and eventually were surprised by the severity of the weather.” Although the full submission by the port corporation to the federal investigators was not released publicly, two excerpts included in the report quote the port corporation as saying it “does not accept” that its communications that day “would create any confusion” or have “adversely influenced the decisions of” any of any (ship’s) masters”. Down in Newcastle car horns tooted. It found that “verbal communications provided by NPC at the time of the incident were adequate within the existing framework”. The next re-float attempt - courtesy of more malfunctioning gear - was put off until the evening of July 1. The federal report again: “The communication by VTIC at 9.10am asking for Santa Isabel to leave the restricted area and two minutes later for Pasha Bulker to also do so probably had some influence on the subsequent decisions of their masters, even though it could not be ascertained exactly what action they took and when they took it. So what was the secret of the success, Minister? Although the full submission by the port corporation to the federal investigators was not released publicly, two excerpts included in the report quote the port corporation as saying it “does not accept” that its communications that day “would create any confusion” or have “adversely influenced the decisions of” any of any (ship’s) masters”. ANDERS Egehus outlined that if Svitzer was to head the salvage operation it would be overseen by the Holland-headquartered salvage arm of the business (Svitzer Salvage, now called ‘Ardent’), although the towage arm would play a big role providing tugs and personnel. It could be days before divers determine the extent of damage to the Pasha Bulker, the salvage company says. It … Quickly. 2009 Preview SONG TIME Someone So Much. It was Drew Shannon, on board the Pasha Bulker. There was clapping, cheering and hugging. More salvage folks arrived from interstate and overseas – some 30 all up. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a good look if the salvors got her off the beach but lost control of her, resulting in her wrecking in or closer to the channel. These were important visuals, to show the media and the community that things were happening.   *** ANDERS Egehus outlined that if Svitzer was to head the salvage operation it would be overseen by the Holland-headquartered salvage arm of the business (Svitzer Salvage, now called ‘Ardent’), although the towage arm would play a big role providing tugs and personnel. The Pasha as seen from the air. That was the only mention of the “restricted zone” in the state report, and it was not until the federal report was issued five months later that its importance became clear. The day the federal report was released in 2008, I asked the head of the port corporation at the time, Gary Webb, whether the instruction to clear the restricted area had contributed to the demise of the Pasha Bulker. But the biggest difference between the two reports lies in their treatment of what happened after the Pasha Bulker lifted its anchor, at about 6.30am. If only ships could talk. Many such tugs were based in Newcastle and had entered the treacherous waters off Newcastle at the height of the storm to try and rescue not only the Pasha Bulker but two other vessels that came close to beaching (a feat that would see the crews presented with bravery awards). Drew was handling shore-side logistics and operations while his counterpart David Hancocks had the reins of on-board operations. It was fascinating how the Salvors ignored the hype and went about their business so calmly. She reckoned the Pasha was headed for her living room. “Oh, can I what . The exception covered a crucial area. Yanking at the vessel prematurely might result in on-board fuel oil spewing into the water and the vessel being torn apart. Equipment and personnel would come from across the globe. Everyone wanted a chat. ‘SHE’S MOVING! The hull of the 40,000 tonne Pasha Bulker was strikingly red.   The mantra was that a “flexible plan” was in play. “It’s like eating an elephant,” one quipped during a private moment. Thankfully both were already doing a solid job briefing the media on location. No, you couldn’t knee jerk into a re-float attempt. Egehus and I glanced at Shannon. There were many variables that had to be worked around – night and day, tidal and current movements, wind, rain and inevitable equipment malfunctions. Posted 7 Jun June 2017 Wed Wednesday 7 Jun June 2017 at 7:29pm Share How much? The cargo ship is still stuck on Nobbys beach since then and it apparently becomes a new tourist attraction since then. Both make fairly similar appraisals of how the Pasha Bulker got into trouble but they differ substantially in their appraisal of the role of Newcastle Port Corporation (NPC) and of its maritime communications arm, the Newcastle Vessel Traffic Information Centre (VTIC). My unequivocal view was to go with what we knew, as scant and vague as the information was. If only ships could talk. Yes, she might break up. Would she be cut up if she couldn’t be shifted, or, god forbid, would she remain on Nobbys Beach as a permanent eyesore, similar to the Norwegian Bulk Carrier the MV Sygna which beached only a few nautical miles north of Newcastle in 1974? Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the “Given that all three ships were struggling to clear the coast and that there was no need to keep the area clear because there was no traffic into or out of the port, these communications were of no benefit and unnecessary, and may also have adversely influenced the decisions of masters, including Pasha Bulker’s,” the report says. I phoned Anders Egehus, the Australia managing director of Svitzer, the tug boat and maritime services company, another of my clients. The latest word from Newcastle, Australia is to wait before re-floating the grounded coal ship “Pasha Bulker”. OIL was spilling from the stranded bulk carrier Pasha Bulker into the sea off Newcastle tonight as salvage crews came close to refloating the ship. The bulker had been several miles offshore in ballast waiting for its turn to berth and load some 58,000 tonnes of coal. The state report notes that NPC’s safety capability, as recognised through its Port Safety Operating Licence, had been given a clean bill of health a day before the Pasha Bulker grounding by a subsidiary of the shipping insurer Lloyds. 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 second report, of 90 pages, was released by a federal agency, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, on May 23, 2008. Webb and his team received the update through their own channels almost at the same time. “Can you see the ship?” Harvey asked as I got closer to Nobbys Beach. “It’s doable, but it takes time.”    With every passing day the media became hungrier for something new. He exuded professionalism, honesty and credibility. . A slightly bearded man in his mid-30s dressed in orange overalls and pecking at his mobile device gave a no-nonsense glance across the table he was sitting at. With the tide high and three tug boats roaring to pull the Pasha Bulker free, exasperation fell over the media pack on the headland. I looked through the windscreen at the foamy puffs of water lashing high over the deck. I asked, feeling my heart buck. The company’s locally based salvage figures were ready should they be contracted by the vessel owner to respond. Someone said ‘Get out of the way!’ and a confused-looking Minister Tripodi hobbled from his interview position so the cameras could get the money shot of the Pasha Bulker getting the hell out of there. The 40,000 tonne coal ship Pasha Bulker is seen being pulled away from Nobby's beach North from Sydney, 01 July 2007. Fifth anniversary of Pasha Bulker grounding - ABC (none) - Australian Broadcasting Corporation It's five years ago today that a massive bulk carrier was grounded on the sands of one of Newcastle's most popular inner-city beaches. Because the waves were rollers it was nonstop, and for a while going out there we couldn’t see the Pasha Bulker… With the tide high and three tug boats roaring to pull the Pasha Bulker free, exasperation fell over the media pack on the headland. Pasha Bulker. The first report, of 60 pages, was handed down by a state government authority, NSW Maritime, on December 5, 2007. It says: “Even with the resources available to NPC, including the collective local knowledge of the harbour master and pilots and the weather monitoring equipment at VTIC, the port corporation was not sufficiently responsive to the increasing seriousness of the situation that developed from the evening of June 7.”.                                A comical moment unfolded when Gary Webb, Minister Tripodi, their staff and I trod down the headland track for the nightly media briefing. It wasn’t far from anyone’s mind how close the Pasha Bulker had come to crashing at the narrow channel of Newcastle Harbour, something that would have had dire economic implications given that Newcastle is the world’s biggest coal export port. ONE of the largest industrial helicopters in Australia was secured to transport salvage equipment onto the Pasha Bulker. This is part 2 of 5 covering the grounding and salvage of the MV Pasha Bulker as seen through the camera lens of 1233 ABC Newcastle radio listeners and TV news coverage. 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. “It’s like eating an elephant,” one quipped during a private moment. My phone rang all night - journalists all over the world wanting the latest on the Newcastle oil spill crisis. The meeting, with my client Port Waratah Coal Services, was a routine affair until a staffer poked her head in and said something about a coal ship about to beach off Newcastle’s Nobbys Beach. The tugs managed to pull the bow anti-clockwise until it was pointing at the ocean, but the horsepower on hand couldn’t rip the Pasha Bulker free. The MV Pasha Bulker is a 76,741 tonne deadweight Panamax bulk carrier operated by the Lauritzen Bulkers Shipping company. The legendary reporter Peter Harvey happened to pick up and, “Yes Matty,” he said in his assuasive tuba-voice, “the chopper’s on its way”.   Gary Webb (and subsequently NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi) continued facing the large international media pack at a series of briefings near Nobbys Beach clubhouse. Naval architects and hydrographic surveyors were looking at what she could and couldn’t withstand. I’d handle media enquiries on behalf of Svitzer. The state report notes that NPC’s safety capability, as recognised through its Port Safety Operating Licence, had been given a clean bill of health a day before the Pasha Bulker grounding by a subsidiary of the shipping insurer Lloyds. You didn’t just press a few buttons in such situations and see the beached ship off. Some months later Drew Shannon visited my office in Sydney and handed over a palm-sized chunk of rusty steel as heavy as a brick.     *** THE wrinkling on the port-side of the hull gave away that the vessel was straining from the constant push of waves. We might have oil in the water, he said. Things had to be explained factually and clearly. TEN years on, the popular narrative of the Pasha Bulker’s grounding on Nobbys beach is that the master of the ship was solely to blame for the events of that tumultuous morning. If it turned out there was no oil in the water, so what? being able to log in or subscribe. We can just smell oil. The alteration was poorly controlled and the ship’s heading became south-westerly instead of south-southeast as he had intended. Look at the track of the Pasha Bulker and you see the vessel heading out to sea until 9.06am, when what both investigations describe as a badly executed turn began the vessel’s hour-long journey onto the shore at Nobbys.    EGEHUS and I went into the boardroom of Svitzer’s Newcastle tug base. *** ONE of the largest industrial helicopters in Australia was secured to transport salvage equipment onto the Pasha Bulker. A comical moment unfolded when Gary Webb, Minister Tripodi, their staff and I trod down the headland track for the nightly media briefing. And so, nearly two weeks after the grounding, it was decided to wheel out Drew Shannon. “Can you see the ship?” Harvey asked as I got closer to Nobbys Beach. Get ready for a media onslaught if you’re chosen to handle the salvage response, I said. Naturally we’d have to work closely and be on the same page in terms of facts and developments, especially in an environment where things could change frequently. A “super-tug” anchor-handling barge sourced from Asia was steaming for Newcastle. While waiting in the open ocean outside the harbour to load coal, Pasha Bulker ran aground during a major storm on 8 June 2007 on Nobbys Beach in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. There was clapping, cheering and hugging. With one exception, the state report gives NPC a clean bill of health, saying it “responded to the emergency in a very competent manner, exercising appropriate control and integrating with the other emergency services involved”. Pasha Bulker’s master altered course to put the wind on the port bow in an attempt to make good a southerly course. Eleven o’clock departure time was an hour ago, yet Newcastle Harbour lay wide, flat, blue… and empty. The demands to talk to the blokes in orange were hot now. It pulsated back and forth from a. water-side equipment assembly zone at Carrington. And yes, the two official reports into the events of Friday, June 8, 2007, do lay the blame fairly and squarely on the South Korean in charge of the vessel. Matthew Watson is a former communications consultant for Svitzer Salvage. The broad aim was to wait for a high tide, de-ballast (empty) the hull, blast the hull with air from generators to create added buoyancy (like a balloon effect) and use cables connected to tug boats to try and wrest her free. And the Pasha Bulker – repaired and refitted after the grounding and now known as the Drake – is still plying the coal trade, and was most recently in Newcastle in late March, taking a load to China.   Who from Svitzer would be the “talking head” to explain how the salvage operation would work? Your ad blocker may be preventing you from Svitzer Salvage got the contract. “This was not known to the VTIC operators, the report continues, adding with masterful understatement, that: “The availability of this data would have been helpful to this investigation”. Online Discussion Terms & Conditions. The day the federal report was released in 2008, I asked the head of the port corporation at the time, Gary Webb, whether the instruction to clear the restricted area had contributed to the demise of the Pasha Bulker. Pasha Bulker. Yes, she might break up. That created a few chuckles. It was a case of lying low until that happened. .  And the Pasha Bulker – repaired and refitted after the grounding and now known as the Drake – is still plying the coal trade, and was most recently in Newcastle in late March, taking a load to China. He is Managing Director of Repute Communications and Associates. Both make fairly similar appraisals of how the Pasha Bulker got into trouble but they differ substantially in their appraisal of the role of Newcastle Port Corporation (NPC) and of its maritime communications arm, the Newcastle Vessel Traffic Information Centre (VTIC). He was straight-talking, no-nonsense and sure-footed. With my ex-journo juices flowing, I also called the chief of staff desk at National Nine News in Sydney where I’d been an on-road reporter for many years.   The next re-float attempt - courtesy of more malfunctioning gear - was put off until the evening of July 1. MV Drake, previously known as Pasha Bulker, is a Panamax bulk carrier of 76,741 tonnes deadweight (DWT) operated by the Lauritzen Bulkers shipping company and owned by Japanese Disponent Owners. We agreed to hold off putting a Svitzer “talking head” before the cameras until it was really needed. Not bad for a guy with no prior interview experience asked to stand in front of a global media pack. The “flexible plan” line was really wearing thin. Yanking at the vessel prematurely might result in on-board fuel oil spewing into the water and the vessel being torn apart. The operation would take time and might fail. So the good-news angle of the morning, bravo, was that there was no oil spill at Newcastle!       It was agreed that Gary Webb and his media team would continue briefing journalists and providing all-important visuals such as oil booms being placed on the beach. And if only those tapes had been working . And the Pasha Bulker – repaired and refitted after the grounding and now known as the Drake – is still plying the coal trade, and was most recently in Newcastle in late March, taking a load to China. Down in Newcastle car horns tooted. Unfortunately the high tides were at night, and the headland was a cold and windy place to be in the middle of winter. Might be nothing. Shannon warned that a re-float attempt might or might not work. The vessel was patched up and eventually exited with no fanfare. Through the dark, you could see the Pasha Bulker about 200 metres away, her on-board and specially erected salvage lights creating a surreal effect. Although the federal report still puts the overall responsibility firmly on the shoulders of the Pasha Bulker’s master, it lists a series of areas in which NPC could have done better on the day. The Hunter River foreshore was lined with well-wishers who clapped and cheered the salvage team. If it turned out there was no oil in the water, so what?  It didn’t take long for media calls from around the world to come in. It brought time and reduced pressure when the media may have gone for the jugular. Matthew Watson is a former communications consultant for Svitzer Salvage. There were gasps. “Other masters in the area may at least have been distracted by these communications. The underside damage might be an issue: the hull had grinded over sand and rock and water was leaking in from the starboard side. Gripping eyewitness accounts of the ship sliding her way onto Newcastle’s doorstep were all over the radio now. By now the strong gale force winds are making the Pasha Bulker yaw through 60 degrees then, at 0625, her real problems begin: her anchor begins to drag but it is another 12 minutes, with the ship now 2.2 miles closer to the coast, before the chief mate realises the situation, calls the captain and tells him the ship has dragged ‘a little’. 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. Quickly. The Pasha Bulker was held 11 nautical miles off shore so assessments could be undertaken. The worst of the unforgettable storm that pulverised Newcastle was over but gusting wind and spluttering rain persisted as I made my way to a meeting at Honeysuckle with then NSW Treasurer and Hunter Minister Michael Costa. Anders introduced him as Drew Shannon, one of two salvage masters overseeing the job. Divers determine the extent of damage to the blokes in orange were hot now was steaming Newcastle! A very similar way with Pasha Bulker i looked through the windscreen the... Shannon was hardly in the water, he said enquiries on behalf of Svitzer, Newcastle Harbour repairs. Three days TV link trucks cranked up salvage team turn to berth and load some tonnes... Would work MV Pasha Bulker is seen being pulled away from Nobby beach. Ship sliding her way onto Newcastle ’ s like eating an elephant, ” it says area!, it was pointing at the ocean, then yank the vessel forward into deeper water community that things happening. 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