We had some minor drama on Saturday morning when we woke to see a fishing boat aground on Nelson’s Boulder Bank. The skipper had missed the harbour entrance by about 200 metres. The pilot launch was attempting to pull it off, without much luck.
A ship was leaving port at the time, accompanied by two tugs (including our newest one, the W.H. Farr).
Eventually the tug was free to take over the pulling duties, leaving the pilot launch to race off (with the harbour pilot) to another ship waiting to enter port.
It was obvious the tug had the power, but took its time. Eventually it came free:
and towing duties were passed over to the pilot launch (which by now had dropped the pilot off and returned). It was clear that more than a repaint would be needed, the fishing boat didn’t tow very straight at all (and there seemed to be quite a lot of water being pumped out).
In the meantime, the incoming ship was forced to do a giant loop in Tasman Bay, waiting for the harbour entrance to clear. I think that may have been an expensive exercise for the owner of the fishing boat.
Postscript: This was reported in the Nelson Mail last night (see here). Apparently the boat went aground on Friday night, and the crew spent the night on the Boulder Bank.