DAS BULK

The mighty Pasha Bulker has resisted an initial attempt to free it:

Three weeks after it beached in savage storms, the stricken bulk carrier Pasha Bulker is just 5m closer to returning to sea.

And with industry sources estimating a cost of more than $200,000 for each day it stays stranded, those 5m have cost the Pasha Bulker’s Japanese owners Fukujin Kisen, or at least its insurance company, $4.2m – or $840,000 a metre.

But Newcastle is cashing in:

“The wave of tourism has been incredible, I’ve had to put on extra staff to cope with the crowds that come in,” Last Drop Cafe owner Monique Lee said.

“I’d be happy if they left it there as a permanent tourist attraction.”

Newcastle City Council tourism manager Shawn Day said the economic benefits had been “huge”.

Which is why locals were possibly anxious, ahead of Thursday night’s rescue bid, that the Bulker stay a while longer:

Police blocked off parts of the city’s east yesterday as a safety precaution as residents crowded under any shelter they could find to watch.

Many residents had mixed feelings. One said, “That ship is like our new best friend.”

The ABC’s Simone Thurtell is a fan:

The Pasha actually looks lovely, lit up beautifully and swaying side to side as the waves crash over the stern.

Everybody loves the Pasha Bulker, a coalhauling, 40,000tonne metal friend who just won’t quit. Also, there are burgers:

I gather that one fast food outlet is even selling a Pasha Bulker hamburger.

Posted by Tim B. on 06/29/2007 at 12:24 PM