Salvage crew boards grounded ship in Newcastle, Australia

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

The MV Pasha Bulker on Hobby's Beach Newcastle
Aerial view of the location

A salvage team boarded the bulk carrier MV Pasha Bulker that has been stuck on a reef off Nobby's Beach in Newcastle to assess damage.

New South Wales Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett told reporters that an aircraft from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority flew over the ship earlier this morning and reported there was no visible sign of oil leaking from the vessel, calling it "good news".

Meanwhile, casualties from the storm that hit Newcastle yesterday continue to mount. The bodies of an elderly couple were found earlier today, bringing the confirmed death toll to five with three more still missing.

Divers and around 45 Police officers and SES volunteers are still searching for another adult and child missing from a family of five whose car crashed down an embankment when a section of the Old Pacific Highway collapsed during the storm.

While the storm has eased, it is expected to worsen again overnight. The Bureau of Meteorology, says Sydney is also expected to be affected by the storm tonight as it moves south.

Duty forecaster Julie Evans said, "The low pressure system is slowly moving south so the good news is it's stopped absolutely pelting down in Newcastle and the Central Coast but now Sydney's getting the brunt of it, and it's also becoming heavier in the Illawarra."

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