Both the York Cove and Campbell Cove tugs have been successfully salvaged from the bottom of the Mersey River and final preparations are now underway for them to be shipped to Brisbane for wrecking.
The York Cove was lifted out on Sunday 7 August and placed in special cradles on board the AAL Melbourne, bound for wrecking at a salvage yard dedicated to scrapping maritime assets.
In a more complex salvage effort, the Campbell Cove was lifted out on Wednesday 10 August but because the vessel was sitting in an unbalanced position, needed to be returned to the water ahead more preparations necessary for a safe lift to occur.
TasPorts Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Casey said the second wreck was successfully lifted out of the Mersey on Thursday 11 August, but was heavier than expected and needed to be lightened up before transfer to the AAL Melbourne.
“Once clear of the water the wreck weighed around 450 tonnes – normally tugs are in the order of 310 tonnes,” Mr Casey said.
“Overnight salvors worked to reduce the weight of the wreck by recovering eight tonnes of fuel, cleaning mud and marine growth, and dewatering,” he said.
“At 8am this morning the wreck weighed in at around 360 tonnes and was considered safe to transfer onto the AAL Melbourne.”
“The final transfer across to the cradle took place this afternoon.”
Mr Casey said United Salvage would fasten the wreck in its cradle prior to commencing the trip north. That process is expected to take a couple of days.
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.
“From day one TasPorts has been focused on removing both wrecks while at the same time carefully managing environment and safety,” Mr Casey said.
“It’s an important step we’ve made today toward returning the Port of Devonport to full operations.”