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 vessels to sink.
TasPorts responded quickly, deploying oil spill response equipment, and activating its crisis response teams. TasPorts has continued to actively monitor 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).
TasPorts has worked closely with customers to ensure the continuity of shipping for operators at East Devonport and Berth 1 West at the Port of Devonport. The ongoing daily sailings of TT-Line and SeaRoad support this commitment, as well as regular movements by Cement Australia vessels.
Active monitoring of all shipping movements into and out of the port limits is continuing, to ensure minimal disruption to the oil spill containment area. To ensure the ongoing high standard of environmental and maritime safety, TasPorts Harbour Master Instruction regarding restrictions on large commercial vessel movements to Berths 4 and 5 West remain in place. At this time, the date remains unchanged, with the salvage works anticipated to be completed by 5 May 2022.
TasPorts is continuing to assess the status of the incident site, to determine any changes to restrictions as early as practicable.
- Salvors have now recovered more than 18,000 litres of pollutants from the submerged tugs, this includes more than 17,000 litres of diesel fuel oil, 480 litres of lubricating oil and 1,350 hydraulic oil. However more than 10,000 litres of fuel are estimated to still be on Campbell Cove. Due to the fragility of the wrecks, this has not been retrieved. Whilst this fuel remains contained, there is still a high risk of leaking if the structural integrity of the tugs changes, such as a shift in positioning.
- A tender for the removal of the wrecks from the site closed on Sunday 13 February 2022. These tenders are now under review, with a preferred salvor anticipated to be appointed in the coming weeks. Following the appointment of a salvor, the recovery methodology and recovery timeframes will be finalised.
- TasPorts has identified a suitable tug asset to support shipping operations within the Port of Devonport. It is intended this will be on a charter arrangement as an interim measure, whilst a longer-term solution is identified. The charter vessel is anticipated to arrive in Tasmania in the coming weeks.