On Friday 28 January 2022, cement carrier Goliath collided with two berthed TasPorts’ tugs at the Port of Devonport (York Cove and Campbell Cove). The impact of the collision caused significant damage to the tugs, ultimately causing both to sink.
TasPorts quickly deployed oil spill response equipment and activated its crisis response teams. TasPorts has actively monitored the incident site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since the collision, with a focus on ensuring the integrity of the oil spill containment area and the salvage of hydrocarbons from the wrecks. These activities continue to be supported by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
- As noted in previous updates, TasPorts, its insurer (Shipowners) and the salvor (United Salvage) have been actively engaging for some time on contingency plans if a lift using the St Vincent lifting barge is ultimately not possible.
- Work commenced on operational planning for one of these plans (using the heavy lift ship AAL Melbourne to lift the wrecked tugs from the river) given the ongoing delays for the St Vincent’s trip to Devonport.
- The heavy lift ship AAL Melbourne has now been engaged by United Salvage to undertake the lift (scheduled for late next week).
- The AAL Melbourne will travel to Burnie at the weekend to collect the tug cradles that are on the receiving barge the Intan, before heading to Devonport. The cradles were fabricated to receive the wrecks and are still considered the best option for the salvage.
- The parties are continuing to work on the St Vincent barge option (the barge remains in Brisbane) in the background as a back-up to the heavy ship lift option.
- In the meantime, noting the new operating arrangements put in place to accommodate the arrival at Devonport of larger vessels without impacting the wreck site, the 185-metre-long Nord Mirai visited the port on Monday carrying petroleum (it was the largest vessel to visit Berth 4 West since the allision earlier this year).
- Importantly, TasPorts and Viva Energy were able to work together to reposition the discharge manifold of the vessel in order to unload safely and still maintain safe oil spill response measures to the wreck site from landside and waterside.
- For all enquiries related to this incident, please contact DevonportWest@tasports.com.au