A helicopter assists the MV Portland Bay off New South Wales, Australia

A helicopter assists the MV Portland Bay off New South Wales, Australia, July 5, 2022. Courtesy AMSA

Broken Down Bulk Carrier Saved Off Australia’s New South Wales

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3843
July 6, 2022

A Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier and its crew of 21 have reached port safely in Australia after several days battling bad weather off the coast.

The M/V Portland Bay left Port Kembla in eastern Australia’s New South Wales on Sunday, July 3, and experienced engine failure just 1.2 kilometers east of Garie Beach on Monday morning. Small tugs were able to attach towing cables in attempt to tow the vessel away from shore, but the towing cables broke and the ship was able to anchor as of Monday evening.

Bad weather prevented the ship from being moved into harbor.

As the weather subsided, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which was coordinating the response along with NSW Port Authority, issued a legal directive tasking the emergency towing vessel Glenrock along with other smaller tugs that had been assisting the vessel to move the Portland Bay into harbor at Botany Bay ahead of more expected bad weather.

“Those smaller tugs have done amazing work over the past 24-36 hours ensuring the stricken vessel did not drift onto some of Sydney’s most pristine coastline,” said AMSA Executive Director Response Mark Morrow.

The AMSA said the Portland Bay safely docked in Botany Bay on Wednesday where two inspectors and a specialist lead investigator were expected to board the vessel to assess the situation and the vessel’s ” compliance with International conventions and Australian law.”

The Portland Bay will be requred to undertake any and all necessary repairs before leaving port.

“AMSA thanks all agencies and salvage companies for their work to bring the MV Portland Bay safely into harbour and would like to commend the crew of those vessels in the early response who battled horrendous sea states. AMSA will continue to work with the NSW Port Authority and other agencies assisting where relevant,” the AMSA said in an update.

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