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It's no secret that Newcastle is one of my favorite places and it's ten years ago today that a bulk carrier became grounded on the beach of Newcastle's Nobby's beach. It was huge news and people descended on Newcastle from around the country to witness the spectacle. I really wanted to go and see it for myself because I am an ex Novacastrian and it would have been a sight to see first hand. I married my children's father on the beach not far from Nobby's down the coast away at Susan Gilmore Beach back in 1982.
Early on the morning of June 8, 2007, the Newcastle Port Corporation radioed the 56 ships waiting off the coast to load coal. They were warning the ships to make their way out to the open sea in order to get protection from the predicted rugged storm activity. The Pasha Bulker and ten other ships took no notice of these warnings. When the storm finally hit that part of the coast those ships were stuck where they were unable to get away from the coast. At quarter past nine in the morning she finally beached. While Newcastle was copping a battering from storms and flooding there was a frightening helicopter rescue of the crew of the vessel.
Salvage efforts failed after continually snapping cables and dealing with huge seas. Several attempts were made to get the ship back into the water and finally in July 2nd the same year they finally got her floated again. Vital repairs were performed in Newcastle Harbour then the Pasha Bulker sailed back over to Japan for further extensive repairs.
No charges were laid against the captain because no negligence could be proved beyond reasonable doubt. It was said the Master left the bridge and was having breakfast when she ran aground.
The Pasha Bulker has now been renamed the MV Drake. It is a Panamax bulk carrier of 76,741 tonnes deadweight (DWT) operated by the Lauritzen Bulkers shipping company and owned by Japanese Disponent Owners.