In June 2007, severe weather hits Newcastle in NSW, two hours north of Sydney where 56 ships are forewarned to move out to sea to escape the approaching storm. One of those vessels fails to head the warnings. As a result the 40,000 tonne coal ship, named ‘Pasha Balker’ finds herself grounded on the beach, a mere 30m from shore.
Not a sight one is exposed to everyday, which saw hundreds of people head North to Newcastle to view this phenomenon, myself included. As a result of gale force winds and high seas, there in amazing glory, run aground on a sandbar off Nobbys Beach, sits the Pasha Balka.
The weather that day, wild winds, heavy rain and massive seas, added to the surreal atmosphere of viewing an enormous 225 metre ship, almost within reach.
Several attempts over the next month, for a ‘rescue’ operation to attach anchoring handling vessels and tug boats to attempt to re-float the ship and tow it back out into open waters. For those who saw the grounded Pasha Bulker up close, will never forget the surreal sight that made world headlines.