Officers from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have been on site over the past week to support TasPorts in the salvaging of the tugboats, the York Cove and Campbell Cove, from the Mersey River.
The EPA provided advice as required to proactively manage any environmental risk during the salvage operation.
The raising of the York Cove occurred over last Sunday 7 August and Monday 8 August 2022, and the raising of the Campbell Cove was completed on the evening of Friday 12 August 2022 when it was placed by cranes into the cradle on the AAL Melbourne.
This has been a large and complex operation. During the raising some diesel and light oil fractions did leave the containment area and move into the Mersey River.
EPA Officers undertook shoreline and water inspections, and Wildlife Officers from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) have also been onsite to monitor wildlife in the area.
EPA and NRE Tas officers gradually stood down over the weekend. However, some continued a presence on the wharf to facilitate clean-up, along with the TasPorts' Incident Management Team.
On Monday 15 August 2022, surveillance of the river did not detect any significant remaining oil or evidence of ongoing impact to the environment as a result of the salvage operation, and therefore the EPA Incident Management Team stood down.
The tug 'Campell Cove' is lifted out of the water prior to loading onto the 'AAL Melbourne'.