Massive cargo ship stranded just off the NSW coast without power as helicopters rush to evacuate crew and tugs work frantically to contain the situation
- The Portland Bay bulk carrier is stranded off Royal National Park, south of Sydney
- Twenty-one crew members are on board and there are fears the ship could run aground
- NSW Premier said situation was ‘very precarious’ amid wild weather in NSW
- Two tugs were sent to help pull the boat away from the park’s cliffs
A freighter with 21 crew on board ran aground off the coast of NSW without power.
The Portland Bay bulk carrier is anchored a nautical mile off Garie Beach in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, and lost power on Monday morning.
It is feared that the ship could drift into the cliffs of the national park.
A helicopter had been called in to evacuate eight non-essential crew from the ship, but the rescue mission has since been aborted. Two tugs were brought in from Port Botany.
The Portland Bay bulk carrier (pictured) is anchored one nautical mile off Garie Beach in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, and lost power on Monday morning
“It is obviously a very precarious position and our thoughts are with those on board,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.
“But the New South Wales Government continues to work with Commonwealth agencies to ensure the situation is rectified as soon as possible by ensuring that all 21 crew on board are brought to safety on as soon as possible.”
The heavy rains and winds hitting the east coast make the rescue mission all the more difficult.
The Hong Kong-flagged vessel is approximately 170 meters long and 27 meters wide. He had left Wollongong at 7.30am on Monday.
Authorities sent two tugs to pull the boat away from the coast after fears it hit the cliffs in the Royal National Park
It is understood a tug is now working to point the bow of the vessel out to sea so it does not run aground.
‘There is another tug about two and a half to three hours away which will have the capability to pull it away from the coast,’ a NSW Police spokesman said.
“There are 21 crew on board and thought has been given to airlifting some of these crew from the ship.
“I have spoken to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority who have advised that they believe it is not safe to do so at this time and that they have delayed this rescue mission.”