In an interesting turn of events the salvage team working to remove the Coal Ship that ran aground on a popular Australian beach believe Pasha Bulker is damaged worse than predicted. The Herald Sun tells us:
A salvage expert and marine engineer said the cost of refloating the ship and fixing its damaged hull was so close to the vessel’s $41million replacement price it was financially unviable.
If the Pasha is labeled a “total constructive loss”, the ship could be dismantled on site – a task that would take six months, plus time for planning and approval.
If this plan to scrap the vessel happens a new team of experts will arrive to build a pier out to the ship and pump out all remaining fuel oil. Then “big thermal lances and other heavy hi-tech cutting equipment to cut it to pieces, crane it away on trucks and dispose of it.” This process will need to get various environmental and safety approvals before the shipwrecking teams can begin.
Our readers have been providing quality “Pasha Bulker” updates on this post. The latest (24 July 2007) post from our number one local reporter Ian states:
Local radio this morning, interviewed ‘one of Australia’s leading salvage experts’, Brett Divine who believes that the vessel has sustained serious damage below water and may not hold up to the stresses involved in hauling her off. It appears that his company is one of several already discussing plans to dismantle the vessel should the refloating effort fail.