AAL Melbourne engaged to salvage wrecked tugs from Port of Devonport

TasPorts and United Salvage have engaged heavy lift ship AAL Melbourne to recover the York Cove and Campbell Cove wrecked tugs from the Mersey River.


29 July 2022

The heavy lift ship AAL Melbourne has been engaged by United Salvage (the Australian-based company appointed to recover the York Cove and Campbell Cove wrecked tugs) to undertake the removal works from the Mersey River.

The lifts of the wrecked tugs will commence as soon as practical after the 194-metre-long vessel arrives in Devonport mid to 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 works.

The AAL Melbourne will pick up one tug at a time, lift them clear of the water and lower them into the specially constructed cradles.

TasPorts chief operating officer Stephen Casey said TasPorts, its insurer (Shipowners) and United Salvage were continuing to work on the original St Vincent lifting barge option as a contingency.

“For some time we have been actively engaging on contingency plans if a lift using the St Vincent lifting barge was ultimately not possible,” he said.

“More recently work commenced on operational planning for one of these plans (using the heavy lift ship AAL Melbourne) given the ongoing delays for the St Vincent’s trip to Devonport.

“With the operational planning work completed, we are now ready to enact the plan.”

Mr Casey said from day one TasPorts had been focused on removing the York Cove and Campbell Cove wrecks and returning all commercial berths at the Port of Devonport to full operations while at the same time carefully managing environmental and safety.