DISMANTLING operations of the TasPorts sunken tug Anse Campbell continued today (Tuesday) following the resumption of York Cove the weekend.

Preparatory work for the second of two lifts began yesterday, overseen by TasPorts insurer Shipowners and lifeguard United Salvage, with support from TasPorts.

The lift started on Tuesday with the possibility of postponing work until Wednesday if necessary, as the withdrawal of York Cove over the weekend was a slow, steady and complex exercise.

“Much of yesterday was spent finalizing the safe landing of the York Cove in the cradles on board the AAL Melbourne to the satisfaction of the captain of the ship for a sea voyage,” he said.

Casey said the decision was influenced by the complexities encountered during the lifting of York Cove on Sunday. He said Anse Campbell presents its own unique set of challenges.

“The first lift was made complex by a range of factors including the lifting methodology, weather conditions and river currents which have been affected by recent rains, and the condition of the wrecks themselves in the water” , did he declare.

“Furthermore, due to the damage to the York Cove and the suspected warping of the allision’s hull, there have been complexities associated with its positioning on the specially constructed cradle which rests on the AAL Melbourne.”

Mr. Casey said that the Anse Campbell the wreckage was wedged between the wharf and the wreckage of the York Cove, meaning divers were unable to inspect the extent of the damage. However, TasPorts knows the damage is significant.

“He’s also sitting in an unbalanced position,” Mr Casey said.

“Pre-lifting will likely be required to move the wreckage into an upright position which will make the full lifting operation much safer.

“In planning and executing the second lift, as was the case with the first lift, our insurer the Shipowners Club, United Salvage, TasPorts and the operators of the AAL Melbourne will work to manage the safety of all personnel involved in the rescue operation and those working in and around Devonport Harbour.

Mr Casey said the two cranes were heaving Anse Campbell will operate from a floating vessel, adding to the complexity of the operation.

“It is also important to allow the wreck to dry out or drain what is largely seawater, mud and silt. This will occur in the containment area in case there is oil or diesel in this waste.

TasPorts said York Cove and Anse Campbell will be welded to cradles on the deck of AAL Melbourne for transport to a salvage yard in Brisbane dedicated to the scrapping of maritime assets.

York Cove salvage operations. Image: Rob Burnet