At 10pm on 18th August Fremantle lost their train service after 2 ships were pushed into the bridge. Fremantle Port have been strongly criticised. The Australian Institute of Marine Power Engineers says the writing was on the wall by about noon. "The harbour master should have had the tugs on gale watch" they said. Gale alert means tugs are required to be on standby at the Port but the Port never issued a gale watch so they werent available when the first vessel broke away at 10pm. Fortunately no trains were affected as there is no early warning for bridge accidents in Fremantle, despite this being the second episode of ship-induced bridge damage in the last 12 months.
The irony is, of course, that it is the supposedly stringent Fremantle Port Security that banned all public access to Fremantle Port after VALE spokesperson, Dr Sue Foster wrote to get official approval for observing live export loading, something she had been doing legally for 18 months (with informal police approval for standing in the designated public access point).
VALE is obviously far more of a threat to Port security than gale force winds it would seem!
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