Stricken bulker assessed for pollution potential

THE stricken bulker Atlantic Eagle has been towed closer to the coast of Western Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and state Department for Planning and Infrastructure reported today.

The Svitzer Salvage tug Wambiri arrived at 1800 hrs local time and towed the 2000-built, 74,085 dwt, Greek-flagged bulker out of King George Sound off Albany and to a protected anchorage two nautical miles north of Breaksea Island just after midnight.

“Weather is currently good and salvors are conducting an assessment of the damage to the vessel,” an AMSA spokeswoman said.

“Pollution response personnel and equipment are still on standby in Albany though there is no indication of any pollution at this stage."

“The Wambiri was assisted last night by the two smaller tugs from Albany."

“These have now returned and the Wambiri remains with the Atlantic Eagle.”

Co-ordination of the incident response had been handed to WA authorities as the ship is now in state waters.

According to the department’s oil spill response co-ordinator, Mandy Dearden, the bulker lost engine power after hitting an object on Tuesday morning about six nautical miles offshore.

According to local reports, the ship had been bound for Kwinana to top up after loading canola at Albany destined for Jakarta, when the incident occurred.