Boulder Bank mini-drama

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.

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A ship was leaving port at the time, accompanied by two tugs (including our newest one, the W.H. Farr).

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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.

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It was obvious the tug had the power, but took its time.  Eventually it came free:

 

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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).

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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.

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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.

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