Friday, June 08, 2007

Ship(s) aground!

An operation was under way on Friday to rescue more than 20 people from a container ship which ran aground in wild seas off a beach at Newcastle in NSW.

The 40,000 tonne coal ship Pasha Bulker, which is empty of cargo, became stranded on a sandbank off Nobbys Beach, near Newcastle's ocean baths, about 9.15am (AEST), police said.

Earlier reports that the ship had hit rocks were not correct, they said.

The Newcastle Coastal Patrol said the ship's fuel tanks were not believed to be damaged.

Strong swells and wild winds were blamed for causing the Pasha Bulker to break its moorings.

The ship's 21 crew were not believed to be injured, and were to be airlifted to Nobbys Head car park, the NSW Ambulance Service said.

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