Miramar nearly got rid of the derelict ships from its Wharf

As reported on Stuff this morning two of the rotting hulks (such an evocative phrase) were cast adrift due to the ever so slightly high winds we had on the weekend. Unfortunately someone saw them and dragged them back - darn it!

Old hulks cast adrift in wild weather

PAUL EASTON - The Dominion Post | Monday, 13 August 2007

Two derelict ships were cast adrift by strong winds in Wellington as wild weather lashed New Zealand.

A howling northwesterly snapped the mooring lines of two abandoned ships at Miramar Wharf, setting them temporarily adrift.

The hulks of the James Cook and SZAP8 were eventually brought under control by the crew of the tug Toia.

Wellington harbourmaster Mike Pryce said winds of 140kmh were recorded at the Beacon Hill Station at midday on Saturday.

At 12.30pm the SZAP8, pitching violently, snapped both its bow and stern moorings "like carrots", sending it into the James Cook, which broke its stern mooring line.

The SZAP8 smashed into Incinerator Wharf, causing minor damage. Both ships ran partly aground, but were "rocked free" by the Toia, Mr Pryce said. It was just the sort of hazard he feared the hulks would pose. "We are are now looking to dispose of them with extreme prejudice."

Greater Wellington regional council plans to dispose of five derelict boats around the city by sinking them so they become dive attractions.

James Cook was set on fire by vandals on July 13, and last week 70,000 litres of oil and water from it was pumped ashore.

Mr Pryce said there was no evidence of any oil leaks after Saturday's drama.

But an oil slick was spotted yesterday, on the western side of Lyall Bay.

Mr Pryce said the slick was "of a light nature", and was breaking up naturally. He said it was not known what had created it, but it must have been laid after Saturday or high winds and heavy seas on that day would have dispersed it.



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