Barge refloated (well, it never actually sank) however, what if?

Two Tugs and an inflatable?

It must have been in the early afternoon that the barge finally got off the ramp. High tide was at 11.50 pm, so that decided when the attempt could be made.

Of course the unasked and unanswered question is, what if it failed?

Of course, with enough horsepower and imagination it is very unlikely that it would be a permanent fixture.

However there is always a slim chance that it may have missed out in this tide, which could have meant days on the ramp. Could it be dragged off the ramp? But would Sealink allow it to be damaged in such an effort? That’s where the uncertainty lies.

Here are the clips on Youtube clip1 , clip2

Images and clips courtesy Citizen Journalist – Rex Morrow, via Facebook – Thanks Rex

It would likely get all legal with injunctions and orders everywhere, Sealink trying to protect hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of capital equipment, and the Government trying to re-establish vital supplies to the Island.

It is a hypothetical situation, to be sure. But we came close to the first two requirements – 1) the Barge aground and 2) an escalating situation due to tides.

As the saying goes, time and tide wait for no man…

I have sought clarification from our new State member Kim Richards, I’ll advise when I get a response. Here is the Email I sent at 3.45pm today 6/3/18.

Dear Kim,

As you undoubedly are aware the Sealink barge ran aground on Sunday afternoon. Actually it wasn’t moving, the ramp wouldn’t raise. She, the Stradbroke Venture was stuck on the ramp overnight. Not until the next day’s linchtime high tide was there any chance of pilling her off.

The question I ask is, what if that effort had failed?

Not such a fantastic thought either, tides are on a receding cycle for the next week or so, with the high tide becoming lower on a daily basis. There could come the time when sheer brute force may have become necessary to remove the barge, most likely causing significant damage.

While I am in no way qualified to presume the extent of any possible, barges are not designed for landfall of this type.

As I have written in my article, I posed the possibility of a ping pong game of competing interests, fortified by legal actions from both parties.

Your opinion of this hypothetical (or perhaps not so hypothetical, given recent events) situation is sought. Bear in mind, a couple of weeks prior, I managed to snap some pictures of a similar Sealink barge seemingly aground and maneuvering to extricate herself from a sand bank off Snipe island.


Tim Barker”

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