Aust ban on livestock ship for two years

Tiffanie Turnbull
·1-min read

A bulk livestock carrier caught travelling through Australian waters with a huge hole in its hull has been banned from our shores for two years - the longest ban ever handed out.

The Barkly Pearl was spotted by authorities on November 3 in northern Australian waters with significant damage.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority feared the ship would sink due to a large hole in its hull, wreaking havoc on the surrounding environment.

The vessel was instructed to dock at the nearest safe harbour at Geraldton in Western Australia, where authorities brainstormed a way to safely remove the ship from the country.

On Thursday the Barkly Pearl was loaded on to an enormous, semi-submersible ship carrier to begin its journey home.

As a farewell gift, the ship was handed a 24-month ban from entering or using an Australian port - double other recent bans handed out by AMSA.

"The owners and operators of the Barkly Pearl were negligent in their maintenance of the vessel, put the lives of the seafarers on board at risk and posed an immediate threat to the Australian marine environment," AMSA's general manger of operations Allan Schwartz said.

"This is a significant decision ... it's the first time a vessel has been banned from Australian ports for this length of time and it will certainly affect the commercial operation of the vessel."

Authorities were not able to determine how the ship sustained the damage.