Kiel ExpressThe actions of tug crews and pilots averted major damage in Sydney’s Port Botany during October when a super storm struck the city causing a trail of destruction.

Mooring lines of a 67,000-tonne container vessel, causing it to collide with another ship and shear the mooring lines of a third vessel.

Hapag-Lloyd’s Kiel Express parted her lines as winds reached 126km/h – or category 2 cyclonic strength. The ship cut the mooring of the OOCL Hong Kong, sending her free. The stern of the Kiel Express then collided with a stationary Safmarine vessel, the Makutu. The Kiel Express then swung around to collide side by side. However, there have been no fatalities, no injuries, no oil pollution and no containers reported seen in the water.

At 2140 hrs on 14 October, DPW Australia called for help as the 1991-built, 4,639 teu Kiel Express, berthed at 12 Brotherson Dock, was beginning to part its lines.

All the lines then broke. The Kiel Express crossed the dock and made contact with the 4,154 teu Safmarine Makutu, which was berthed at 8 Brotherson Dock on the Patrick side. Then, at 2224 hrs, the 1995-built, 5,344 teu OOCL Hong Kong parted its lines and started to cross the dock from the DPW Australia side to the Patrick side.

Tugs were on hand and were able to push OOCL Hong Kong back to berth but, it was then discovered, the ship had no lines left. All the tugs were needed to hold OOCL Hong Kong. Tugs managed to push Kiel Express “comfortably” near Safmarine Makutu where the vessels remained until the following morning. The OOCL Hong Kong was ordered into the turning basin at the head of the dock to free the tugs to deal with the other two ships.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2014 Issue
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