Second tug successfully removed from Mersey River

In a major tug salvage milestone, the Campbell Cove wreck has been lifted from the riverbed of the Mersey River and is being prepared to make securing the wreck to the AAL Melbourne tween deck safer.


12 August 2022

In a major tug salvage milestone, the Campbell Cove wreck has now been removed from the Mersey River in Devonport and will soon be secured on board the AAL Melbourne.

TasPorts Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Casey said the recovery of the second tug completed the highly complex salvage effort which involved TasPorts’ insurer, shipowners and salvor United Salvage.

“The York Cove was removed from the river on Sunday (7 August) but the additional complexities including the way the Campbell Cove was sitting in an unbalanced position when first lifted yesterday, meant the wreck’s final salvage could not be completed until today,” Mr Casey said.

“This made the potential lift unsafe to successfully lift the wreck into the specially constructed cradle waiting for it on the AAL Melbourne.”

On Wednesday night salvors worked to adjust the chains and rigging in preparation for today’s lift. As a result, the Campbell Cove was able to be removed from the water today and dewatered into the containment area which can be skimmed of any diesel or oil that drains from the wreck.

“Work is now underway to finalise the safe landing of the Campbell Cove into the cradles on board the AAL Melbourne in preparation for a sea voyage to Brisbane,” he said.

“Once there, the two wrecks will be taken to a salvage yard dedicated to scrapping maritime assets.”

Once departed, the incident site will undergo marine safety inspection and assessment to ascertain potential damage to the wharf, prior to beginning the process of returning the port to full service.

Mr Casey said the protection of the environment and the integrity of the oil spill response boom around the wreck site has continued to be a key focus of the salvage effort.

“An update on the Wildlife Response team check of little penguin colonies late Wednesday night saw no sign of oil within the colonies at Don Heads Lillico.”

“Around 30 penguins were seen under spotlight, and all were behaving normally and had no signs of oiling.”