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Australia live news: Sydney floods could be region’s worst in 18 months; cargo ship drama off NSW coast | Australia news

Stranded cargo ship anchored off coast but crew airlift delayed because unsafe

NSW police are providing more information about the rescue effort of the stranded ship off the coast of NSW:

A vessel departed Wollongong this morning at about 7:30 and the New South Wales police force was notified that it had lost power and was drifting towards the cliffs of the Royal national park.

The current situation is that this vessel is now double anchored about 1km east of the Royal national park and there is a tugboat on its way that should be there now, actually, that is assisting in pulling the bow of the vessel, which will reduce the chances of it being further pushed towards the cliffs.

There is another tugboat which is about two hours away which will have the capacity to pull it further … There are 21 crew members on board and there was thought of airlifting some of those crew members off the vessel. I have spoken to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which indicated they believe it is unsafe to do that at this present time and they have delayed that rescue mission.

Evacuation orders for parts of Cattai and parts of Sackville North

More evacuation orders from NSW SES. Residents and business are directed to evacuate:

  • parts of Cattai by 2pm today
  • parts of Sackville North by 12.30pm today

Cargo ship’s earlier route off NSW coast

Note that this tweet is from earlier today and the Portland Bay bulk carrier is not out of control any more (though not out of the woods), but this image does give you a good sense of the trajectory it took before being secured where it is now.

It’s stuck off the coast near this beach – needless to say (to anyone in NSW right now), this picture was also not taken today!

Cliffs and vegetation surrounding Garie Beach on the New South Wales coast, Royal National Park. Photograph: KarenHBlack/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here’s a picture of the cargo ship (not taken today) that’s stuck off the coast, south of Sydney. Police said in the press conference just now that the ship is double-anchored but rescue efforts have been delayed due to the weather.

Generic image. Bulk carrier Portland Bay is anchored 1 nautical mile off the coast of the Royal National Park
Bulk carrier Portland Bay (pictured before today) is now anchored one nautical mile off the coast of the Royal National Park. Photograph: Steven Watkins

Mostafa Rachwani

Mostafa Rachwani

An ‘act of God’, says man rescued from floodwaters

Roads lining the Hawkesbury at Richmond are completely under water, as floodwaters continue to rise under torrential rain.

Brian Russel had to be rescued from his car, which got caught in floodwaters just outside Richmond.

He said he saw a detour sign, took a wrong turn, and got caught in the rapidly rising water:

I started coming down on the road when all of a sudden it just got deeper and deeper, the car stopped and started to flood.

It was really traumatic, I couldn’t even open the sun roof.

Russel said he climbed onto the roof of his car to stay safe, with the SES and NSW Police coming to his rescue.

Drenched but in good spirits, he said he was going to be ok:

It’s OK, I live in the high part of Richmond. But this is the fourth time we’ve seen this floods, it’s a bit much, bit dramatic.

But there’s nothing you can do, it’s an act of God.

Christopher Knaus

Christopher Knaus

Stranded ship is Portland Bay bulk carrier

I’ve found out a little more about the stranded ship that has sparked an urgent rescue operation off the NSW coast.

The ship is the Portland Bay bulk carrier, registered under the Hong Kong flag. It departed Port Kembla yesterday, about 1.30pm. Live tracking data suggests that it is drifting back towards the shore near the Royal National Park. Emergency services and military helicopters have been scrambled to rescue those on board.

In a statement, NSW police said:

A sea rescue operation is currently under way off the coast of the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south.

A co-ordinated operation utilising Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Marine Area Command, and officers from Sutherland Police Area Command and Wollongong Police District are responding to reports a commercial vessel had encountered mechanical issues about two nautical miles off-shore.

Two helicopters have been deployed to rescue 21 crew onboard. Two vessels attached to Port Kembla and Botany Bay Marine Area Command are onsite assisting.

No further information available at this stage.

We are waiting on a statement from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The cargo ship stranded off the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, is the Portland Bay bulk carrier, which left Port Kembla about 1.30pm yesterday. Tracking data shows it in a precarious position near the coastline. Emergency services scrambling to rescue crew in wild weather pic.twitter.com/KXYnaeD7t1

— Christopher Knaus (@knausc) July 4, 2022

Evacuation orders for parts of Richards and Londonderry in Sydney’s north-west

A couple of evacuation orders from the last hour for parts of Richards and parts of Londonderry. Residents and businesses in those areas are ordered to evacuate by 2pm today.

🚨EVACUATION ORDER: Parts of #Richards🚨

NSW SES is directing residents and businesses within Parts of Richards to evacuate the following area by 2pm Monday 4th July 2022. More info: https://t.co/mOi7C9JU7O

— NSW SES (@NSWSES) July 3, 2022

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet says the federal emergency minister Murray Watt will be on the ground at the flood operations centre today, which he says is “really pleasing”.

There’s a really strong focus in all these media appearances by state and federal politicians today on how they’re all coordinating, all working together – a lot of effort going into appearing united.

Stranded cargo ship anchored off coast but crew airlift delayed because unsafe

NSW police are providing more information about the rescue effort of the stranded ship off the coast of NSW:

A vessel departed Wollongong this morning at about 7:30 and the New South Wales police force was notified that it had lost power and was drifting towards the cliffs of the Royal national park.

The current situation is that this vessel is now double anchored about 1km east of the Royal national park and there is a tugboat on its way that should be there now, actually, that is assisting in pulling the bow of the vessel, which will reduce the chances of it being further pushed towards the cliffs.

There is another tugboat which is about two hours away which will have the capacity to pull it further … There are 21 crew members on board and there was thought of airlifting some of those crew members off the vessel. I have spoken to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which indicated they believe it is unsafe to do that at this present time and they have delayed that rescue mission.

Warning against unnecessary travel amid flood crisis

The SES and the government are advising people not to travel if they don’t have to – to readjust holiday plans if necessary until after all this has passed, which may be some days.

SES commissioner Carlene York has just got up at the press conference:

We’re not out of the danger yet with the significant weather event. As the premier said there has been a large number of requests for assistance and flood rescues over the last – particularly over the last 72 hours – so I would remind people please make sensible decisions that keep you and your family safe and sensible decisions that do not put the rescuers lives at risk as well in responding to your request for assistance. There has been a lot of storm damage. Obviously, the wind has brought trees down and roof damage which the SES and alpine agencies are responding to assault.

As spoken about, some of the areas will be going into recovery and so I just remind people that where you are able to go back in your homes, just do it with safety. There is still electrical problems. There might be damage to buildings, trees, and just make sure you are aware of the risks when you return to those properties when it is safe to do so.

SES website lists details of seven flood evacuation centres

NSW emergency services minister Steph Cooke is reassuring flood affected communities that “we will be there” through the recovery process, although she doesn’t give many specifics. She notes the location of evacuation centres:

We currently have seven evacuation centres that have been established, and I would really encourage anyone who needs to go somewhere at this time, or you just don’t feel that staying at home is where you would like to be, you may be vulnerable for any number of reasons. We have established seven evacuation centres in the most high-risk areas. They are at Canley Vale, Castle Hill, Gosford, North Richmond and Richmond. Further details can be found on the SES website …

We currently have 184 registrations at those evacuation centres that have been established, and we have 68 people in emergency accommodation presently.

Cooke says the recovery process is already starting in some places:

Where it is safe to do so, we are kickstarting the recovery process. I am working closely with the commonwealth at this time and we do expect the commonwealth announcement tomorrow. We have SES communities in the Georges River area, looking at the impact of this latest flooding on people’s homes, their businesses and the local infrastructure, working closely with councils, of course, to make sure that is all captured, and that will form the basis of our discussions with the federal government in relation to rolling up support for communities as we look to get people back on their feet.

Perrottet: cargo ship in a ‘very precarious situation’

The premier says there is an evacuation effort going on, and they’ve dispatched assistance:

Currently, the commonwealth government is trying to lift eight non-essential crew from the bulk carrier. … It is obviously a very precarious position and our thoughts are with those on board. The New South Wales government is continuing to work with commonwealth agencies to ensure that situation is rectified as quickly as possible in ensuring that all 21 crew on board are lifted to safety as quickly as possible.

Perrottet on flood situation: ‘Please follow instructions’

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet:

I want to continue to ask people to follow the instructions of the SES. If there is an evacuation warning in place, please get ready to evacuate. If there is an evacuation order in place, please leave immediately.

These instructions, warnings, orders, they are not in place for the sake of it. They are there to keep you and your family safe. As we have said over the last couple of days, simply because of a past experience with a flood event, it does not mean that that will be the experience this time around. Experiences in the past do not necessarily mean that the flood event will be the same and therefore there could be a worse situation we find ourselves in so please continue to follow those instructions.

… Over the last few days, there have been 116 flood rescues. Since 9pm last night, we have had 83 flood rescues as well as 1593 requests for assistance. There is substantial effort on the ground with our SES teams working through the night and I want to thank them again for what they have been doing.

Cargo ship adrift off the coast south of Sydney, NSW police confirm

Christopher Knaus

Christopher Knaus

We are just getting word that a cargo ship is stranded off the coast south of Sydney, near the Royal National Park.

Police have confirmed to the Guardian there are fears the ship may run aground.

Multiple helicopters have been dispatched, including PolAir, the NSW police chopper, local rescue helicopters, and a military chopper.

Channel Nine has reported that 21 crew will need to be evacuated by helicopter.

Nine News is reporting that a cargo ship is adrift off the coast of NSW, just near Royal National Park. We’ll bring you more on this shortly.

Adeshola Ore

Adeshola Ore

Victoria’s Yoorrook commission requests extension

Victoria’s Indigenous truth-telling commission has formally requested a two-year extension for its inquiry to ensure the process does not “replicate colonial injustices” and “trauma”.

The call for an extended timeline comes after a series of resignations over the past six months, with commissioner Dr Wayne Atkinson’s the latest departure last month.

In an interim report released on Monday to coincide with Naidoc Week, the commission said the June 2024 deadline for its final report was “extremely ambitious” for the breadth of its inquiry, given the time needed to customise a culturally appropriate model that does not “replicate colonial injustices”.

The interim report details First Nations elders’ experiences of colonisation and the ongoing pain and harm they have experienced.

Yoorrook chair Prof Eleanor Bourke said elders deserved to “see change in their lifetime”:

Each of the some 200 elders we spoke to pointed to the ongoing effects of discriminatory policies and racist beliefs, including those that led to the stolen generations; policies and beliefs that have not only affected them, but continue to affect their children and grandchildren.



Australia live news: Sydney floods could be region’s worst in 18 months; cargo ship drama off NSW coast | Australia news Source link Australia live news: Sydney floods could be region’s worst in 18 months; cargo ship drama off NSW coast | Australia news

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