On 23 May 2007, the Panamanian registered bulk carrier Pasha Bulker anchored 2.4 miles off the coast near Newcastle, New South Wales. The ship had sufficient water ballast on board for the good weather at the time, and was not expected to load its coal cargo for about three weeks.
At midday on 7 June, Pasha Bulker's master veered more anchor cable after a gale warning was issued. The weather deteriorated and shortly after midnight, the wind had reached gale force.
At 0500 on 8 June, the wind had increased to strong gale force and the weather was severe. At 0625, Pasha Bulker started to drag its anchor. The master decided to put to sea and at 0748, the anchor was aweigh. The ship was now 1.2 miles from the shore and, with the southeast wind fine on the starboard bow, it made good a north-easterly course. At 0906, the master altered the ship's course to starboard to put the wind on the port bow in an attempt to make good a southerly course on a south-southeasterly heading. However, its heading became south-westerly and, with the wind on the port beam, the ship started to rapidly approach the coast.
At 0931, with Nobbys Beach 0.8 of a mile away, the master attempted a starboard turn. The manoeuvre did not succeed and at 0946, with grounding imminent, he requested assistance from authorities ashore. At 0951, Pasha Bulker grounded on Nobbys Beach and the ship's momentum carried it further onto the beach. The crew were evacuated by helicopter during the afternoon.
On 2 July, Pasha Bulker was successfully refloated. The ship was temporarily repaired in Newcastle and on 26 July, taken in tow to Vietnam to undergo permanent repairs.
The report identifies a number of safety issues and issues recommendations or safety advisory notices to address them.
Marine Safety Recommendations
Safety Advisory Notices
|Date:||08 June 2007||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||0951 (UTC +10)|
|Location:||Nobbys Beach, Newcastle|
|State:||New South Wales|
|Release date:||23 May 2008|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Type of operation||Bulk carrier|
|Damage to vessel||Substantial|
|Departure point||Newcastle anchorage|
|Departure time||0748 local time|