NEWS - Anchors Away!
The seabed off the major NSW ports of Newcastle and Port Kembla is a minefield of discarded ships' anchors and cables. In fact, the tangle might have been a contributing factor in the infamous grounding of the Pasha Bulker. Time to clean up the bottom, says NSW Maritime, announcing it will engage a minesweeper.NSW Maritime is to begin a search for discarded anchors and cables on the seabed off the ports of Newcastle and Port Kembla.
NSW Maritime Deputy Chief Executive Tony Middleton said an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation into the 2007 grounding of the Pasha Bulker revealed the presence of more than 40 discarded anchors and cables on the seabed off Newcastle.
"The Port Kembla Port Corporation also reported discarded anchors and cables on the seabed near Port Kembla," Mr Middleton said.
"In late 2008, NSW Maritime approached the RAN who agreed to aid in the location of the anchors and cables.
"This is expected to be a time-consuming search as many of the anchors and cables are embedded in the sea floor."
The search involving RAN Minehunter vessels will be in two stages, starting off the coast of Port Kembla in late April. It will resume on May 11 off the coast of Newcastle, where the greatest concentration of anchors and cables has been detected.
"The operation will help locate these hazards to navigation and mariners will then be advised of the locations of the hazards.
"NSW Maritime will then investigate measures to remove the hazards with the aim of providing safer waters for trading and commercial vessel operators."
Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.