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Two Ships Break Down Off Australia
Posted 8/8/01 at 8:08:AM
Two ships have broken down in Australian waters on Wednesday, with the larger of the two being buffeted by treacherous conditions in Bass Strait.
The 44,000 deadweight ton container ship Maersk Tacoma lost power in heavy seas in Bass Strait and a tow vessel was on its way. "The Maersk Tacoma is drifting in Bass Strait in atrocious weather," a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The ship was about 30 km (19 miles) southeast of Wilson's Promontory in Victoria state and drifting towards the Kent group of islands in 55 knot winds and three to four meter seas, the spokesman said. The tow vessel would reach the ship later on Wednesday, he said. An official with Maersk Australia said the stricken vessel was carrying general container cargo.
The 3,560 ton bulk carrier ANL Purpose, which broke down on Monday, was drifting 466 km northeast of the Queensland coastal city of Mackay, the Maritime Safety Authority official said. ANL officials were unable to immediately give information on cargo being carried by the vessel. - (Reuters)
-- Rich Marsh (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2001
The following was published in the August 10 2001 edition of Lloyds List
Tug problems underlined by boxship power failures
By Sandy Galbraith in Melbourne
TWO boxships were under tow off the Australian coast yesterday after experiencing power failure and the twin dramas have thrown Australia's emergency tug readiness position into sharp relief.
Late yesterday morning the Maersk Tacoma was 10 nautical miles west of Cliffy Island, near Wilson's Promontory in Victoria. Swire Pacific Offshore's ocean-going tug Pacific Conqueror managed to get a line to her last night after she had laboured in treacherous seas in the eastern Bass Strait. Australian maritime safety officials expressed relief that she had avoided running aground on Hogan Island, 50 km south of the Victorian mainland and 150 km north of Tasmania. Maersk Line is assessing whether to return the ship to Melbourne, anchor her off Wilson's Promontory or sail her to Sydney. Weather conditions in the area have eased considerably today, AMSA said.
Meanwhile, off Queensland, the ANL Purpose is under tow from Adsteam Marine's tug Giruand is expected to arrive in Brisbane tomorrow. Because of 2,000-metre deep waters, the vessel could not anchor after her engine failed and had been drifting towards Marion Reef, about 350 nautical miles east of Townsville. ANL chief executive John Lines said the vessel's owners would assess their repair options. He said the Papua New Guinea service would switch from an 11-day to a 14-day frequency. He said the ANL Purpose was carrying about 130 boxes, many containing coffee and tea.
The 3,169 teu, 44,153 dwt Maersk Tacoma,owned by Tonnevold of Norway and chartered to Maersk, was on her way from Melbourne to Brisbane when her engine gear failed. She had dropped her starboard anchor but it failed to gain a grip in the wild conditions.
The ANL Purpose was to be met by another Adsteam Marine tug, Bulimba, off Gladstone early yesterday. Adsteam Marine chief executive Clay Frederick said the ability to mobilise a harbour-based tug immediately to effect a deep-sea rescue and prevent mishap along the Barrier Reef reinforced the company's policy of having tugs around leading Australian ports with dual harbour-rescue capacity. He added that the problem for Australia was that Adsteam was the only company with this critical national objective. There was no coherent state or federal policy on the issue. "There is no better evidence than to witness the rescue attempts under way now in two of our busiest waterways to have state and federal authorities rethink their positions on sea lane and coastal protection from shipping casualties," said Mr Frederick.
ANL PURPOSE (Antigua & Barbuda) Following received from Australia MRCC, timed 0255, UTC: General cargo ANL Purpose (3120 gt, built 1985), cargo of coffee, reported disabled and drifting in lat 18 03S, long 152 19E at 0200, UTC, this morning. Vessel is awaiting a tug, ETA six hours. London, Aug 8 - A press release from The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, dated today, states: General cargo ANL Purpose broke down on Monday (Aug 6) and is currently about 466 km north-east of Mackay, Queensland. A tug is expected to rendezvous with the vessel about 1800 today.
ANL PURPOSE (Antigua & Barbuda) London, Aug 8 - Tug Giru, was expected to rendezvous with general cargo ANL Purpose drifting uncontrolled near the Barrier Reef off Townsville, Queensland. The Giru was expected to reach the ANL Purpose by nightfall. She lost all engine capability and will be towed south, where she will be met by another tug, m tug Bulimba, off Gladstone early tomorrow. (See issue of Aug 9.)
London, Aug 9 - Following received from Australia MRCC, timed 0325, UTC:General cargo ANL Purpose: Vessel is in tow of tug Giru. Tug Bulimba is proceeding to the take over tow from Giru and is estimated to be on scene in 20 hours. ANL Purpose is being towed to Brisbane, ETA Aug 12.
MAERSK TACOMA (Hong Kong) London, Aug 8 - Following received from Australia MRCC, timed 0255, UTC: C.c. Maersk Tacoma (37238 gt, built 1982) reported disabled and drifting in bad weather, in lat 39 20S. long 146 39E at 0140, UTC, this morning. Vessel awaiting assistance.
London, Aug 8 - A press release from The Australian Maritimr Safety Authority, dated today, states: C.c. Maersk Tacoma lost power today in heavy seas in Bass Strait about 30 km south-east of Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. The vessel is being buffeted by 45-55 knot winds and 3-4 metre seas. She is drifting in an easterly direction at about five knots. A tug is expected to reach the vessel later today.
MAERSK TACOMA (Hong Kong) London, Aug 8 - Tugs had to go to the rescue of laden c.c. Maersk Tacoma, which narrowly evaded running aground on Hogan Island in the Bass Strait. The vessel was on her way from Melbourne to Brisbane when her engine gear failed. She dropped her starboard anchor but it failed to gain a grip in the conditions. Winds in the area were reported to be gusting up to 50 knots with seas rising eight metres. Helicopters were flown to the island as preparations were being made to attempt a risky evacuation of the ship. However, a disaster was averted as favourable seas helped her drift to the north of the islands and the relative safety of the open waters beyond. Tug Pacific Conqueror was on site attempting to put a towline on board as light faded and another vessel, a rig tender, was on stand by. (See issue of Aug 9.)
London, Aug 8 - A press report, dated today, states: C.c. Maersk Tacoma (37238 gt, built 1982)is no longer at the mercy of the wild weather sweeping Bass Strait. Tug Pacific Conqueror is now with the vessel, which was crippled after her engines failed earlier today. Ben Mitchell from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the container is not in danger of running aground. "At about 1930, AEST, tonight Pacific Conqueror, managed to get a line to the stricken container vessel," he said. "They're now securing that line and they're hoping to get underway with the tow in the next hour or so."
London, Aug 8 - Following received from MTI Network, London, dated today: C.c. Maersk Tacoma last night had a main engine failure in the Bass Strait. The vessel has been taken under tow by tug Pacific Conqueror and is en-route to a safe anchorage where a further inspection of the main engine will be carried out. Although weather conditions are poor, the situation is under control. There are no casualties and no pollution to report. The vessel was on passage from Melbourne to Brisbane at the time of the incident.
London, Aug 9 - Following received from Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News, dated today: C.c. Maersk Tacoma: Late this morning, the vessel was 10 nautical miles west of Cliffy Island, near Wilson's Promontory in Victoria. Tug Pacific Conqueror, managed to get a line to the vessel last night after she had laboured in treacherous seas at the eastern end of Bass Strait. Australian maritime safety officials expressed relief that the laden 44,000-tonne container vessel had avoided running aground on Hogan Island. Maersk Line is assessing whether to return the vessel to Melbourne, anchor her off Wilsons Promontory, or sail her to Sydney. Weather conditions in the area have eased considerably today, AMSA said.
London, Aug 9 - Following received from Australia MRCC, timed 0325, UTC: C.c. Maersk Tacoma is in tow of tug Pacific Conqueror proceeding to a safe anchorage.
-- Rich Marsh (email@example.com), August 11, 2001.