Tug, two massive barges take shelter in Nepean Bay, KI

The tug boat PT Monto and two massive barges are taking shelter in Nepean Bay at Kangaroo Island.

The convoy operated by Pacific Tugs experienced 10 metre seas and 55-knot winds while crossing the Great Australian Bight.

The tug and two barges spent Thursday night, June 14 anchored off Ballast Head and on Friday morning backtracked closer to Kingscote to resupply and conduct some safety checks.

The vessels are set to stay in Nepean Bay until the current storm system passes, probably departing eastward on Sunday. 

The convoy was making it way from Onslow, Western Australia across the Great Australian Bight to Pacific Tug’s base at Iluka on the NSW North Coast. 

The trip from Onslow to Kingscote took four weeks at average speed of 4 knots, and the remainder of the trip was expected to take about three weeks.

Video of the Bight crossing

The empty barges are due to have maintenance conducted before being put back into service for general construction and marine activities.

Andrew Neighbour from Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures was contracted by Pacific Tugs to bring personnel in to Kingscote on Friday morning for them go to the local Drake supermarket to resupply.

The crew also wanted to conduct some checks on the barges after a rough trip across the Bight.

PT Monto skipper and Master 1 Chris Benson said it had been a rough trip for the six crewmen and the tug.

A constant watch needed to be kept to ensure the tow ropes between the 3200-horsepower tug and the two 1300-tonnes barges were kept steady.

Fortunately for the rough passage across the Bight, the convoy had following seas with winds and swell pushing them along in an easterly direction.

The decision to come across to the East Coast via the Bight was made because the predominantly easterly winds across northern Australia would have added time and expense.

The barges Miclyn 255 and Miclyn 256 measured a massive 76m long by 24m wide.

The current location of the tugboat PT Monto and the two barges are visible on MarineTraffic.com website.

VESSEL LOCATION: The location of the tugboat PT Monto and the two barges, as visible on MarineTraffic.com

VESSEL LOCATION: The location of the tugboat PT Monto and the two barges, as visible on MarineTraffic.com

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