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Lost barge salvaged, arrives at Newcastle Port

A salvage crew was able to secure an unmanned barge drifting in rough conditions off the New South Wales coast at the weekend.

Early Monday afternoon, NSW Maritime reported that the 112-metre pipe-laying barge, Aussie 1, had arrived at the port of Newcastle with the assistance of Svitzer tug Wickham.

Aussie 1 had been under tow from the port of Eden to Darwin when she lost her towline to the tug, Lewek Kea.

Weather conditions prevented Lewek Kea from reconnecting the towline and the barge began drifting off the coast near Forster, about 100 nautical miles north of Newcastle.

A Westpac Rescue helicopter transferred a salvage crew to the barge on Saturday.

Salvors were able to reconnect the tug to the barge and ensured it did not drift further towards the coast.

Wickham was then deployed from Newcastle and was able to connect herself to the barge with a sturdier line.
source: Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News