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Page 1 M/V Pasha Bulker-

Initial Reports June 9 2007

June 10 - 12 -- M/V Pasha Bulker May Be Breaking Up

June 13 -16-- Our Most Amazing Photos Ever

June 19 -- Cyclonic Activity & Intense Weather Threaten Vessel

June 29 -- Another Refloating Attempt Tomorrow. Will M/V Pasha Bulker be lost?

July 2 -- M/V Pasha Bulker Is Free! A Miracle & How They Did It! Aerial Map of The Loss

July 4 -- M/V Pasha Bulker Towed To Port of Newcastle

July 11 -- Call For General Quarters Aboard M/V Pasha Bulker -- Explosion Fear Unfounded

Sept. 6 -- Post Loss Discussion

Oct. 13 -- Stunning Causes of Loss Uncovered


"Carrying Coal To Newcastle"

M/V Pasha Bulker

Breaking News

On The Scene Off Australia

Feature Date: June 9 2007

Event Date: June 7 2007

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The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss

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"Carrying Coal To Newcastle"

M/V Pasha Bulker

On The Scene

On The Australian Coast

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: June 7 2007

The Time: Morning

The Place: On The Australian Coast


In Better Days

M/V Emerald Bulker, Another J. Lauritzen A/S Vessel

Vessel Name - Pasha Bulker

Type of Vessel - Bulkcarrier/NK

Built: 2006, Sasebo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Flag - Panama

Call Sign: 3EGK5

IMO#: 9317729

Speed: 14.50 knots

Overall Length - 225.00 meters

Width - 32.2 meters

Draft: 7.1 meters

Gross ITC Tonnage -40,042.00 tons

Tank capacities: 2738 mt IFO / 97 mt MDO


The Prolog To Disaster -- Carrying Coal To Newcastle

PROLOG >> "TO CARRY COALS TO NEWCASTLE" - This is an old British saying. The current American equivalent saying would be:

"To sell refrigerators to the Eskimos."

In explanation, the phrase, "carrying coals to Newcastle," means spending an inordinate amount of energy on something useless, fruitless, or redundant. This idiom arose in the 15th century since Newcastle, England was known throughout the country as a major exporter of coal. Newcastle - or Newcastle upon Tyne (to use the official name of the ancient English city) - lies in the center of the great coal-mining region of England. The saying was recorded by Heywood in 1602; as he labeled it common even then, it may well go back a century or two earlier. Similar sayings occur in all languages.

Now that you are totally fascinated -- this feature once again concerns both coal and Newcastle. But this time M/V Pasha Bulker is coming to Newcastle, Australia (not England) to carry coals away.

An inordinate amount of energy is being spent on the saving of M/V Pasha Bulker. Only time will tell if the effort is useless, fruitless, or redundant -- like having a screen door in a submarine.

Michael S. McDaniel - Your Editor

EDITOR NOTE: This Feature has just begun. Stay tuned for progress reports.


M/V Pasha Bulker - At Risk

From The Cargo Letter - June 8 2007 -- Bulk Vessel In Jeopardy
MAJOR ACCIDENT>>225m Panama-flagged bulk carrier M/V Pasha Bulker, built 2006, was overwhelmed by heavy seas and strong winds causing it to run aground off Nobbys Beach, Australia on June 8. M/V Pasha Bulker is in danger of breaking up. The vessel was waiting to load 58,000 tons of coal from Newcastle Port at the time of the grounding, and was being pounded by 18m waves and strong winds. The vessels 21 crew (19 Filipinos and two Korean officers) were all rescued without major injury. At this time, there is no ostensible evidence that an oil leak has occurred, but it is a concern given the vessel is carrying 700 tonnes of fuel oil, 38 tonnes of diesel and 40 tonees of lube oil. Accordingly, NSW Maritime, Newcastle Port Corporation and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority have a contingency plan in place should a leak occur, and the NSW Fire Brigrade hazardous materials (HAZMAT) crews are also at the scene. As a result of the weather, there were separate concerns for M/V Sea Confidence and M/V Betis, which were also swept close to shore and were towed to deeper waters by tugs. NSW Maritime is investigating to determine if weather warnings were ignored. From our Correspondents Russel Forbes, Gary Hannah, and Trevor Squire (Thurs. June 8 2007)

M/V Pasha Bulker In Ballast On Nobby Beach

M/V Pasha Bulker Hit Big Ben Reef

U-Tube Action of The Initial Loss

M/V Pasha Bulker On The Wrong Side of The Entrance To Newcastle

M/V Pasha Bulker was due to pick up aload of 68,000 tons of coal on June 12.

To Carry Coals From Newcastle...... But Ended Up On Nobbys Beach

The Owners
J. Lauritzen A/S is an international shipping company, domiciled in Copenhagen and with offices worldwide.

J. Lauritzen operates globally and is engaged in ocean transport of perishable commodities (NYKLauritzenCool), petrochemical gases (Lauritzen Kosan), dry bulk cargo (Lauritzen Bulkers), crude oil, oil products and chemicals (Lauritzen Tankers). The fleet consists of more than 200 vessels representing specialised reefer vessels, gas and dry bulk carriers as well as products tankers, which are owned or on time charter. In addition, J. Lauritzen is also engaged in landbased activities (LauritzenCool Logistics) and provides integrated transport solutions to the reefer market.

History>> For over a century, J. Lauritzen A/S has been actively involved in ocean transport in selected market segments. Founded in 1884, J. Lauritzen was initially a trading company dealing in building material, and later fertiliser and coal. However, in 1888 with the commissioning of the 450 ton Uganda, the company changed course for good and entered the merchant shipping industry. Over the years, J. Lauritzen has been involved in different types of shipping consistently focusing on niche sectors, which typically require specialist equipment and know-how.

A Rescue Operation Launched With 3 Helicopters Airlifting The Crew Off The Stricken M/V Pasha Bulker.
M/V Pasha Bulker Is Just 20 Meters Off The Sand.
The Capt. of M/V Pasha Bulker Stayed Until The End

Ships are normally anchored 2km to 5km off the coast but the wild weather, including winds of more than 100 kilometres an hour, had caused M/V Pasha Bulker to break her moorings.

All 22 Crew Safely Airlifted

M/V Pasha Bulker crew were airlifted 2 at a time & brought to a makeshift operation centre at the Nobbys Beach Surf Club where immigration officials are processing the rescued crew members, who are from The Philippines.

Four surf club jet-skis were being used in the rough seas in case any of the remaining crew went overboard.

M/V Pasha Bulker Begins As Circus

Thousands of people are lining Newcastle's beaches in driving rain & gale-force winds as rescue helicopters attempt to retrieve the Filipino crew of a coal freighter which has run aground in heavy seas.

  Can M/V Pasha Bulker Survive?

Authorities are frantically working to avert a potentially major environmental disaster as M/V Pasha Bulker threatens to move closer towards Nobbys Beach, near the Newcastle Baths.

Fears remain that the vessel, which is still being pounded by huge seas at Nobbys Beach, could break up but at this stage there has been no breach of the hull

Acting Inspector Kirren Steel, of the Newcastle Police, said: "It's a bit of panic stations at the moment.''

At the time, she said the ship was "balancing just on the reef'' between 50 & 100 meters off the beach. It has since been pushed by the high tide to about 20 meters off the beach.

For M/V Pasha Bulker -- Massive waves are crashing into & over the ship, with the bow swinging towards the beach.

Editor Note For June 10 2007: Stockton Beach is the southern facing beach to the north of Newcastle Harbor. It is south facing and has a long history of shipwrecks in southern gales. In 1974 the M/V Sygna (53 000 tons) was pushed aground on Stockton and the wreck is still a tourist attraction today. This is a tough room for M/V Pasha Bulker .



Bow On & Just Helpless

U-Tube Action of The Initial Loss
M/V Pasha Bulker?

Will She Survive?

Editor Note For June 10 2007:
Ironically, in 2004 the original Newcastle in England began importing coal from Russia. Thus the phrase "Carrying Coals To Newcastle" saying is no longer true.

Despite the 15th Century phrase no longer holding literal truth, the well-known idiom will certainly live on. Can the same be said for M/V Pasha Bulker?


Another Night On Big Ben Reef - Bow On

From The Cargo Letter - June 12 2007am - The Survival of M/V Pasha Bulker Becomes More Than A Question

It's been 36 hours since she took the beach. Storms continued most of June 8 and for a while reports were that two other vessels were in dire danger. One large bulker -- M/V Sea Confidence was blown within 500m of Stockton beach, several miles to the N. of where M/V Pasha Bulker grounded. News footage showed her stern almost in the breakers. In common with the Pasha Bulker she seemed to be riding very high, possibly having had her ballast pumped out in preparation for entering the port. Her prop and rudder were completely and clearly breaking the surface every few seconds with the huge swells (reported to average 8 metres, with one monster recorded at 17.96m off the entrance to the port).

Reports were unclear but it appears that a tug from the port risked the seas and managed to pull M/V Sea Confidence off to about 1nm by nightfall. Winds dropped in the early evening allowing her to be pulled further out to sea. With lower winds & seas on June 9 an assessment team was dropped back onto M/V Pasha Bulker by chopper.

M/V Pasha Bulker is going nowhere fast. She appears to be on a flat but sizeable rock shelf -- Big Ben Reef. Local reports say that creases are developing on the side of the bulker. We hope she won't break as the sand dunes in the area are a World Heritage Site listed National Park.

From Our On Scene Correspondent Stuart Midgley - Sydney, Australia

Dawn At Newcastle, Australia -- A Village No To Be The Same

From The Cargo Letter - June 12 2007pm - The Survival of M/V Pasha Bulker Becomes A Question

NSW Maritime released an official update:
- outer hull is holed on the bottom. Inter hull should hold.

- two tugs have been chartered to try and pull her off, one being M/V Woona.

Newcastle Port Authority gave a press briefing in the afternoon where they added that the initial assessment team (including 3 crew members & personnel from various government agencies) have restored power and are flooding some the cargo holds to hold her down onto the bottom to prevent further movement while they wait for the tugs and other salvage vessels to arrive. They also reported that they are pumping some of the oils onboard into tanks higher up in the hold, away from the damages areas of the hull.

From Our On Scene Correspondent Stuart Midgley - Sydney, Australia

Editor Note For June 12 2007:

There is news tonight -- as you would expect -- of the salvage effort. Now we now have a test of the double hull design. Of course, none of this will matter if M/V Pasha Bulker herself breaks up. Hold your breath for a World Heritage Site and for M/V Pasha Bulker.

Tomorrow will bring more news & photos of this amazing casualty.


Knocking At The Door of Newcastls

But Hold Your Breath For The Next Photo .......

U-Tube Video of M/V Pasha Bulker

Live Webcam of M/V Pasha Bulker Casualty

Could This Be One of The Most Amazing Photos at Cargo Law Ever?

M/V Pasha Bulker Vs. The Lilliputians? Run For Your Lives!

But We Now Know The Full Plight of This Vessel.

Grounded On Rock -- Is M/V Pasha Bulker Doomed In Paradice?

From The Cargo Letter - June 13 2007pm - The Salvage Efforts Seem Slow To Start -- No Major Tugs On Scene

The team working to salvage the coal ship beached at Newcastle, north of Sydney, is expecting more rough weather conditions later in the week. Newcastle Port Corp. today moved oil-pollution equipment onto Nobbys Beach in Newcastle as a precaution.

More than 20 salvage workers are aboard M/V Pasha Bulker, continuing assessments of the hull & moving fuel supplies.

Chief executive officer Gary Webb says low tides & rough sea conditions have prevented an underwater examination, but the general assessment is continuing. "The conditions at the moment are not impeding the response at all," he said.

Hydrographic surveying of the exit path for M/V Pasha Bulker began today, but had to be called off as the swell increased. In addition, the salvors, Svitzer, is still negotiating over the issue of contracting an anchor handling tug. This delay in assembling a salvage team may play a role in the ultimate enterprise success.

The assembly of oil spill combat equipment, in the port area, is now said to be complete & equipment is being moved down to the beach.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman, Neil Patchett, said that salvage company Svitzer hoped to be able to provide a picture of its intentions, on June 15, but added "It is very unlikely that anything will happen on the next spring tides, because the timing is not right. Preparations are continuing, but are unlikely to be completed in time."

".....unlikely to be completed in time?" The Cargo Letter has great fear for this enterprise.

Live Webcam of M/V Pasha Bulker Casualty

Editor Note For June 13 2007:

Continue to hold your breath for a World Heritage Site beach and for M/V Pasha Bulker.

Salvage plans continue -- but we have yet to see major towing vessels at work -- perhaps because such assistane will not cure. Thus far tug M/V Woona from Sydney is on scene, but there is no pulling. Another salavge tug from Melbourne should have arrived today. A massive pull will tell us if a "pull" will do the trick. But please remember --M/V Pasha Bulker took a punch in the bottom as she was pushed across the reef. There is a hole in the outer hull.

Tomorrow we will continue to bring more news & photos of this amazing casualty.

From The Cargo Letter - June 16 2007 - She's There For The Month

M/V Pasha Bulker could be stranded off a Newcastle beach until at least the end of June 2007, as authorities complete salvage plans & await favorable tides. The 40,000-ton M/V Pasha Bulker has been stranded at Nobbys Beach since she ran aground more than a week ago during gale force winds and huge seas.

A 22-man salvage team has spent days on board, working to stabilise the 225-meter long vessel that is wedged on a sandbank just 20 metres offshore. Work continues on board to ready the vessel for salvage, including transfer of fuel and oil from vulnerable tanks to higher and safer tanks. Svitzer salvage crews have successfully filled one of the cargo holds with sea water to prevent the ship from moving and are continuing to test the fuel lines & transfer the fuel to higher compartments of the ship. The tanks at the bottom of the ship are being prepared for 'air-blowing' to assist in forcing water out of the bottom of the ship, as well as to create buoyancy to assist in the re-floating.

More than 20 Australian and Int'l maritime agencies are involved in the salvage operation.

Editor Note For June 16 2007:

Ironically, in 2004 the original Newcastle in England began importing coal from Russia. Thus the phrase "Carrying Coals To Newcastle" saying is no longer true.

Despite the 15th Century phrase no longer holding literal truth, the well-known idiom will certainly live on. Can the same be said for M/V Pasha Bulker?


From The Cargo Letter - June 19 2007 - Intense Weather & Cyclonic Activity Threatens M/V Pasha Bulker

The intense weather low that developed off Sydney June 18 night, bringing destructive winds, heavy rains and damaging surf and snow to large parts of New South Wales, was a little better than earlier forecasts, with winds closer to 90 km/h, rather than the predicted 125 km/h. The worst conditions, with hurricane force winds, are still well out to sea. The worst is not yet over. Dozens of coal ships, waiting to enter the Port of Newcastle, have moved further out to sea to ride out the storm and concern remains over the grounded M/V Pasha Bulker. The CEO of Newcastle Port Corporation, Gary Webb, said that the salvage team had secured equipment aboard the vessel in readiness and would stay aboard M/V Pasha Bulker and recommence salvage work as soon as weather conditions permitted. Webb said the Pasha Bulker was "standing up well under the current weather conditions."
From Our Correspondents Mark Dixon & Stuart Midgley

From The Cargo Letter - June 29 2007 - She's There For The Month

A new attempt will be made on Saturday -- June 30 --to refloat M/V Pasha Bulker after the replacement of towing cables and a sea anchor that broke under the strain of the salvage operation. Salvage crews will wait until Saturday night's high tide around 8pm (AEST) to mount a 2nd bid to free the ship, which ran aground off Nobbys Beach at Newcastle during a storm on June 8.

The first attempt to pull M/V Pasha Bulker back to sea began on June 28 night in heavy seas, high winds & sheeting rain. It got off to an ominous start when one of the towlines attached to a tug snapped.

On June 29 morning, just minutes after Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said the 3 tugs involved in the operation would begin their second attempt on June 29 night, a cable to the lead salvage tug M/V Pacific Responder also failed. Within 30 minutes of that break, 1 of 3 sea anchors broke free, leaving 2 sea anchors and 1 tug to hold the bulkship as it was thrown about in the heavy surf. Soon after, the salvage crew decided to abort the June 29 night's attempt and ordered the ship's ballast tanks be filled with water once more to stabilise it in the surf.

The ballast will be pumped out again before any attempt to refloat the ship. The massive task is being undertaken by the Dutch marine salvage company, Svitzer Salvage.

The spokeswoman said lead salvage tug M/V Pacific Responder had recovered the broken sea anchor & taken it into Newcastle Harbour for inspection.

On Saturday morning -- June 30 -- the sea anchor would be set in place again and the Pacific Responder would then reattach its own line to the ship.

During attempts to pull the ship to sea, winches on board M/V Pasha Bulker will wind in the cables attached to the sea anchors, helping the tugs in their efforts.

On Friday June 29, three cables remained attached to M/V Pasha Bulker - one connecting it the tug Woona, and two running to sea anchors.

The salvage team is believed to be working in a window of favourable tides that will end on July 4.

Gale force winds are forecast for coastal areas around Newcastle on June 30. but authorities remain optimistic the operation will proceed as planned. National Coordinator of the International Transport Workers Federation, Dean Summers, called on the federal government to introduce laws that would force ships using Australian ports to comply with Australian regulations. He said he had no evidence linking the grounding of the Pasha Bulker with its trading status.

"But we want to ask if the deregulation of this vessel had anything to do with the grounding of it," Mr Summers said. "Did the fact that it's an unregulated ship mean it was a contributing factor to this tragedy?" Mr Summers said masters of many ships under flags of convenience were put under more commercial stress and pressures than they would be if they were skippering a nationally flagged ship. He would not be drawn on the effectiveness of plans for the salvage attempt, but praised the salvage crews as some of the finest seamen in the world

From our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen & Stuart Midgley (Tues. May 29 2007)

 M/V Pasha Bulker - Map Showing Position, Depths & Reefs As of July 1 2007

On The Night of July 2 -- The Freedom Bell Rang! Direction of Pull Is Suggested By Map

From The Cargo Letter - July 2 2007 - She's Free!

The 40,000-ton coal ship M/V Pasha Bulker has finally been refloated, nearly four weeks after it became stranded on the Australian seaboard during severe storms. The Japanese M/V Pasha Bulker was towed out into deeper waters by tug boats during high tide on July 2 night after days of work by salvage teams. The ship has been a tourist draw since it ran aground on Nobby's Beach near the Port of Newcastle.

But environmentalists were worried about its effect on the coastline. While the ship was in ballast at the time it beached, she was carrying 700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

"We're happy to see it off," said Joe Tripodi, ports minister for New South Wales state.

"It's just great to see this ship moving out to sea peacefully, quietly and most importantly we hope without leaving any oil behind."

Cheers could be heard from salvage workers on deck as the bulk freighter was finally pulled free by three tug boats late on July 2, helped by high ties and calm seas.

From our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen

From Our Reader - July 2 2007 - Our Century Creates The Electronic Eyewitness

"At high tide on July 2 M/V Pasha Bulker was towed out. I was watching on the surf Webcam for Nobby's Beach when the SBS Television Network News came on as well. They were talking to the reporter on the spot, but she said that so far nothing has happened -- yet while during thje interview -- in the background behind her M/V Pasha Bulker was towed out of the picture, and you could hear the cheering of the people nearby. it was nearly off the camera before the reporter turned around and saw it."
Andrew Perry - Electronic Eyewitness

From Our Reader - July 2 2007- A Cautionary Tale

She's alive and kicking, well maybe not kicking too hard but M/V Pasha Bulker tonight was pulled from her temporary berth on Nobbys Beach, Northern NSW Australia by a couple of heavy haulage tugboats who were'nt going to take no for an answer, she quietly slipped out to sea about 9.45pm AEST into the deeper waters that will allow a serious assessment of her hull to take place before she is dry docked for repair. M/V Pasha Bulker appears to have suffered severe damage to her rudder & propeller but in the great scheme of things this is minor compared to what could have become of this young lady of the sea. Also of concern are some creases down her starboard side which could in all reality spell an end to her all-too-short life. Here's hoping for a full recovery and return to duty for this humble lady.
Bruce Traplin - Australia

25 Days Aground And 5 Tugs To Newcastle

From The Cargo Letter - July 4 2007 - She's Free!
M/V Pasha Bulker was towed by Svitzer & 5 tugs into a berth at Western Basin No.4 in the Port of Newcastle on July 4 after divers completed an offshore assessment of the damaged vessel. The vessel made her way to port with oil pollution booms & other safety equipment on standby. There has been no observation of oil. The extent of damage to the carrier, or how long she will be required to remain in port, remains unknown.

Editor Note For July 7 2007:

We will follow with additional details concerning the release of M/V Pasha Bulker from her reef prison -- but for now ths is just a happy miracle! Sadly, there is the prospect that this freedom is only parole -- depending upon the damage sustained.

Call For General Quarters Aboard M/V Pasha Bulker -- Explosion Fear For July 11 2007

EMERGENCY: The Sydney Herald Sun reporets that crews are trying to prevent an explosion after oil was spilled on bags of volatile ammonium nitrate fertilizer aboard M/V Pasha Bulker in the port of Newcastle. The crew had to be evacuated -- again -- after the spill happened about 1am (AEST) July 11, as a crane loaded 2000 bags of ammonium nitrate aboard the vessel at Kooragang Island.

A ruptured line on the crane led to about 15 liters of oil being spilt on to about 500 of the bags, each of which weighed 1.2 tons.

The M/V Pasha Bulker master stayed on board to assist emergency services which immediately established a 1km exclusion zone around the ship as a precautionary measure.

A 100mt. "hot zone" has also been established to minimise the chance of anything igniting the explosive cocktail of oil and fertilizer.

"We'd have a large explosion but what we have done is we've established a hot zone of 100m so no one goes inside the hot zone," a NSW Fire Brigades spokesman told Macquarie Radio.

Plans are now being prepared to unload about 50 bags of ammonium nitrate to allow cleaning of the ship's hold.

M/V Pasha Bulker is being turned from port to starboard to allow her to be unloaded by a shore-based crane.

The exclusion zone is expected to affect coal loading operations at the adjacent Kooragang Island coal terminal on July 11.

Peter & Sharyn Johnson - New South Wales, Australia

Editor Note For July 11 2007:

We will follow with additional details -- but it is clear that the saga of M/V Pasha Bulker is not concluded.

Will M/V Pasha Bulker explode? Of course not.

The Sydney Herald Sun has heard about some bags of ammonium nitrate hanging around on M/V Pasha Bulker. The Herald Sun is a fine newspaper, but this is not a circumstance to raise terrorist fears. The bags of ammonium nitrate are just bags of ammonium nitrate.

I do not think that Timothy McVeigh was the Captain of this vessel. We have much to fear from Al-Qaeda -- but bad guys do not necessarily surround vessels stranded off South Afrtica.

The Sydney Herald Sun reports an impending tragedy for M/V Pasha Bulker tonight, but readers of this website know that salvors Svitzer have the situation well in hand. With the Svitzer professionals -- we can adavance our thinking to the future of M/V Pasha Bulker. That issue is currently in deep thought. Our single thought is THANKS SVITZR


From Our Reader For July 12 2007- Wrong vessel tagged with Ammonium Nitrate

The Ammonium Nitrate incident in Newcastle Australia was NOT aboard the M/V Pasha Bulker but on M/V Pria. Why on earth would a damaged bulk carrier be loading a cargo of Ammonium Nitrate (AN)?
Captain Ian Harrod -Director of Operations & Shipping, Harbour Master, Esperance Port Authority, AUSTRALIA

From Our Reader For July 16 2007- Wrong vessel tagged with Ammonium Nitrate

Just a few small points in your otherwise excellent coverage of M/V Pasha Bulker:
* As pointed out by another reader, it was the Pria, not the Pasha Bulker that had Oil Spilt on the Ammonium Nitrate.

* Was there a Chance of the Ship exploding? Of course there was. Ammonium Nitrate is listed in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). If you are not aware of the IMDG Code, I suggest that it is required reading for Cargo Insurers as it is applied across all transport Modes, not just Marine. As for the damage likely to be caused? Wikipedia has the following entry (among many)

The Texas City Disaster of April 16, 1947, started with the mid-morning fire and detonation of approximately 17,000,000 pounds (8,500 tons) of ammonium nitrate on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp in the port at Texas City, Texas, killing 581 people. It also triggered the first ever class action lawsuit against the United States government, under the then-recently enacted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), on behalf of 8,485 victims

Anonymous To Avoid Professional Conflicts of Interest. [But hightly qualified in our view. McD ]

From Our Reader For Sept. 6 2007-

Dear Sirs,

A few days ago a friend brought my attention to your Website and I was delighted to read in great detail about M/V Pasha Bulker from grounding to re-floating because it was another friend, also a former ship's master who e-mailed me the photos of the grounding of this vessel as events unfolded, I can safely presume from your website.

The one thing that struck me most were the photos showing M/V Pasha Bulker with both anchors 'safely' stowed in the hawse pipes, seen in context with the report of the vsl coming adrift and her subsequent grounding on Nobby Beach.

Needless to say, I wasn't surprised to learn that M/V Pasha Bulker had an Asian crew, having sailed as master an FOC vessels for a number of years with Asian/European officers and Philippino crew. But, regrettably there were no comments/reports why the vessel didn't stand out to sea in the first place or use her anchors if there was a main engine failure, assuming it was an "unmanned" engine room.

Your site regarding maritime casualties makes very interesting reading with its mixture of facts, and/or unconfirmed observations/statements by witnesses and a healthy dose of 'Rainbow Press' journalism and a few annectodal remarks thrown in. My question, do you get any feedback on reports that are published on your site? I would also love to read about those.

By the way, I have been working for the past 25 years as port captain/marine surveyor for a number of European principals in the whole of Asia and am permanently residing now in Malaysia and am no stranger to the Asian mentality and their approach to common sense.

I am not holding my breath but would love to hear from you.

Capt.Udo Kapeller - Malaysia

Editor Note: New Reader May Not Understand Cargo Law

Dear Capt. Kapeller,

Unlike most sites, we publish all reputable comments about our features, given available time & space. Our readers know that many of these postings over the years have pointed up major errors on our reporting or different points of view. It is with pride that we have posted many of these contrary or corretive posts from noted experts in their fields. Our pride in these contrary reviews is because our stated purpose is maritime safety awareness -- the common risk to commercial cargo in particular. We all learn by our mistakes from others who have greater knowledge. Of all world industries, the maritime sector is the where final or singular answers to major issues are most uncommon.

All major shippers realize the common risk of cargo loss and therefore they secure marine cargo insurance in keeping with the orginal concept of the Lloyd's Coffee House. Sadly, many small shippers still believe that international shipping is the same and as safe as sending out a FedEx mail pouch to the lady on the other side of the street. Our efforts are generally directed toward ending all the many uninsured cargo losses we see each day around the world. It is dangerous out there.

As for your 'Rainbow Press' journalism comment about our site, I don't know what that means -- but we would love to see some concrete examples. Yes, we use humor, but never where loss of life is involved. We stand for mariners & our staff includes mariners. Otherwise we stand by the accuracy of our reports as any other news outlet.

I look forward to your futher contributions to Cargo Law -- after you have had an opportunity to review our actual content.


Investigation By The Sidney Morning Herald For Oct. 13 2007- Stunning Causes of Loss Uncovered -

Citing sources close to the investigation the Sidney Morning Herald has reported admissions by the Capt. of M/V Pasha Bulker that he was having breakfast below deck as the 40,000-ton bulk carrier plunged out of control toward Nobby's Beach near Newcastle under the panicked direction of junior ship's officers. According the the Herald, the admission was acknowledged by the Chief Engineer 3 days after the June 8 grounding. But the far neither the Government nor the ship's owners have sharied this stunning news with the public.

The trail of mistakes and incompetence began on the evening of June 7 when warnings about an approaching storm were issued to 56 ships anchored off Newcastle. M/V Pasha Bulker, waiting to load 58,000 tons of coal, was one of 10 ships whose captains chose to stay at anchor about 200 meters off Stockton Beach to assess the situation overnight. At 5.30 the next morning authorities tried again, but M/V Pasha Bulker stayed at anchor. It was not until 7am, in a sea whipped up by 100kmh winds, that the captain realised he had to move, and move quickly. The captain then made a critical error.

As M/V Sea Confidence, a nearby vessel facing the same predicament began moving out to sea with her anchors still dragging, M/V Pasha Bulker stayed and attempted to weigh anchor before moving. Mariners say it is standard practice for a boat to be moved forward slowly to help raise the heavy chain from the seabed while it is being hauled in. It meant M/V Pasha Bulker would have already moved through the surf in the 10 minutes it would have taken to get the anchor aboard. In an emergency, such as the one brewing by the 30-year storm, the anchors should be cut & left behind. Instead, the captain ordered the engines to remain idle while the chain, up to 200 meters long with links each weighing 100 kilos, was winched aboard. As a consequence, the ship was still in the danger zone an hour later when the anchor was finally shipped.

Mess Call: It was now just after 8am. With the winds & seas continuing to rise and the engine only just beginning to move the ship, the captain called the chief engineer and invited him to breakfast. Both were Korean in a 22-man crew otherwise made up of Filipinos. They met in the dining room while others were left in charge of moving the vessel through the dangerous conditions.

M/V Pasha Bulker, now in the hands of less experienced crew, was shunted north along the coast toward Port Stephens, unable to make much headway against the waves. She had traveled about 3 kilometres before the captain reappeared on the bridge and took command of his ship, which was now out of control.

At 8.30am the ship had been looped in almost a full circle by the power of 18-meter waves and was now headed toward Nobbys Beach on the outside of the southern entrance to the port.

All Aground: The captain, in a panic as he told investigators in the offices of a Newcastle law firm, made one last desperate attempt to save his ship, but again made an error. Instead of swinging the vessel hard to starboard, he ordered M/V Pasha Bulker go full astern, literally backing up into the pounding waves that were breaking over its decks. The stern was lifted above the waves, her rudder useless and the propeller spinning madly in the air. The 225-meter vessel then virtually surfed to the beach and hit a rock shelf called Big Ben Reef.

Abandon Ship!: It was 9.15am. The collision broke the back of M/V Pasha Bulker - hogging, as it is called. It bent the ship into an inverted U-shape that could be seen by onlookers from the beach as ripples in the hull. The captain panicked again and ordered the ship to be abandoned even though there was no chance of her sinking, having already run aground, and needed at least a skeleton crew to minimise damage and monitor the hull to avoid an environmental disaster. They were taken off by helicopter.

Back on board the now empty ship, damage was getting worse. The engine room frames were severely damaged and every ballast & fuel tank at the bottom of the ship was breached. As the waves continued to lift it and smash it further onto the rocks, the rudder was snapped off & every blade of the giant screw was bent. Although the plan had been to refuel M/V Pasha Bulker at Newcastle, she was still carrying 700 tons of fuel oil, 38 tonnes of diesel and 40 tons of lube oil. Salvage crews had to pump it into wing tanks on either side of the engine.

Controversy Followed Salvage: The Sidney Mornin Herald also reports that M/V Pasha Bulker was towed into Newcastle despite warnings from industry sources that there was a high chance she could sink & block the narrow channel for months. No accident occurred, but industry observers say it was an unacceptable risk. Giant girders, much like splints, were welded to her side before it left under tow for Na Trang, Vietnam, where M/V Pasha Bulker will have to be cut in half for repair.

Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

If We Have Ever Provided A Cautionary Tale In Support of Cargo Insurance -- This Is It!

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"

"Ship Happens! ©"

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crew of M/V Pasha Bulker and her families.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs brokerIt's dangerous out there.


M/V Pash Bulker
U-Tube For June 12 2007


The Owners of M/V Pasha Bulker

Lauritzen Bulkers

The Salvors

The World of vitzer

Newcastle Harbor

Newcastle Harbor
Newcastle Harbor

Recent Groundings -- Some Survived

"Crack'n On The Sidmouth" - M/V MSC Napoli - Jan. 2007 - Disaster In Real Time

"Wrong Way Agulhas?" - M/V Safmarine Agulhas - Jan. 2007

"A Day A The Beach - M/V APL Panama - Jan. 2006

Our Daily Vessel Casualties - stay informed

Other Ocean Related Features From The Cargo Letter- these are just examples

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - For All The Air & Ocean Features - a few examples below

"Best Worst Laid Plans?" M/V Republica di Genoa - March 2007

"Crack'n On The Sidmouth" - M/V MSC Napoli - Jan. 2007 - Disaster In Real Time

"Operation Jumbo Drop" - M/V Jumbo Challenger - March 2007

"Wrong Way Agulhas?" - M/V Safmarine Agulhas - Jan. 2007

"Full Speed Ahead" - M/V Alva Star - Nov. 2006

"Where The Trade Winds Blew" - Oct. 2006

"Maersk Montevideo Melee!" - M/V Leda Maersk - Oct. 2006

"Laying Down On The Job" - M/V Cargo Ace - Aug. 2006 The Marty Johnson Project Continues

"A Day A The Beach - M/V APL Panama - Jan. 2006

"Great Misfortune"- M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

"Unstacked - Overboard With Dr. Beach" - Oct. 2004

"Columbia River Round Up" - June 2003

"Halifax Hash"--M/V Maersk Carolina - Jan. 2003

"Piñata" - breaking the box - Jan. 2003

"T-E-U Bar-Be-Cue" - aftermath of the M/V Pennsylvania Loss - Nov. 2002

"Container Pool" - a mystery - May 2002

"Dropping In On The Trucker" -happened again - April 2002

"Meals: Ready To Explode" - Navy Barbecue at Guam June 2001

"M/V Ville D' Orion" - Bad L.A. Stack Disaster! April 2001 -- UPDATED - May 2002

"Pier Review" - Sept. 2001

"Singles Only" - visit our individual moments of transport crisis for more.

The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

M/V APL China

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. 

It's very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributors For The"Carrying Coal To Newcastle" Feature

Our Contributors for this feature are:
Anonymous photo contributors who wish to be anonymous*

Our Doc - our legendary friend & anonymous contributor

Russell Cummings

Mage Bailey

Mark Dixon - North Sydney NSW Australia

Jon Edwards

Russell Forbes - Wollongong, NSW Australia

Douglas A. Gaxiola

Michael Gordon - Sydney, Australia

Judith & John Hancock - Newcastle, Australia

Gary Hannah - Sydney, Australia

Andrew Hull - Tasmania

Peter & Sharyn Johnson - NSW Australia

Scott Johnson

Jon Kelly

Stuart Midgley - Sydney, Australia

Simon Parr - New Zealand

Andrew Perry

Trevor Squire - Advanced Eco Technologies Pty Ltd. - Australia

Tim Schwabedissen - our Sr. Cargo Law Correspondent

Reuben Tarran

Bruce Traplin

Christoph Wahner. Esq. - our Cargo Law Correspondent

The Cargo Letter appreciates the continuing efforts of these valued contributors. Thanks Pals!

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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