Pasha Bulker
The Pasha Bulker ran aground in the biggest storm to hit Australia's east coast in 30 years. Inland, nine people died and thousands of houses were flooded as rivers broke their banks and roads were washed away.

Before the storm hit, port authorities advised the 56 ships waiting to load to move further out to sea, but the Japanese-owned, Panamanian-registered Pasha Bulker decided to try and ride it out close to the shore.

She dragged her anchors then managed to recover them and was trying to head out to sea when she was driven onshore. A rescue helicopter winched the ship's 22-man crew to safety in horrendous conditions.

Salvage is complicated by the ships's settling into the sand, a hole below the waterline leaking water into the space between the Pasha Bulker's double hull, and a reef between the ship and deep water. The plan is to "kedge" the ship off the reef, which involves using the power of the ship's winches to pull her off, during the spring tides at the end of June.

The carrier was holding 700 tons of heavy fuel oil, which the salvage crew is transferring from tanks at the bottom of the ship to those higher up. So far, there has been no spill.

Local surfers believe that she could create a good surf break, as the sand will bank up around her.
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