The David Allan was kept very busy last month, dredging the Port of Newcastle following March’s flooding event.
Working in tandem with “sweeper” vessel Pacific Tiger, the full-time trailing suction hopper dredger had the job of maintaining channel depth for safe shipping.
While flooding led to temporary load restrictions on the largest ships visiting Newcastle, channel depth was restored to required levels within three weeks, enabling all ships to continue to depart with a high tide as normal.
The restoration of operations was earlier than expected.
Port Authority of NSW Harbour Master Vikas Bangia guided the response on March 22.
“The influx of freshwater poured into Newcastle Harbour during the recent floods changed the salinity of the water and made ships much harder to manoeuvre,” Captain Bangia said.
“Our Newcastle operations team collaborated with stakeholders across the port to ensure the safety of shipping and maintain normal operations in conditions that were anything but.
“It was a challenging few weeks but the concerted effort by all involved kept the supply chain moving. They’ve done themselves — and Newcastle — proud.”
Port of Newcastle Executive Manager Marine and Operations Glen Hayward said
“Safety has been the top priority throughout – we all worked together to minimise the impacts on port operations, taking a risk-based approach that appropriately managed hazards such as debris and freshwater impacts,” Mr Hayward said.
“We expect the impact of the flooding will still be felt for a few more weeks with continued discolouration of the water and more silt needing to be helped on its way out to sea.”