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Last month Port Nelson welcomed the Harrier Hunter container ship, at 262m long and container capacity of 4255 Twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), she is the largest ever vessel to visit Nelson. The one-off visit from Sydney was due to a vessel rotation made by Maersk Line for the particular route.

Nelson’s extreme tides, challenging depths and tricky navigation of the Cut meant that a

considerable risk assessment process was required. The Port Nelson marine team undertook a trial on a simulator loaded with the harbour parameters and set to varied weather conditions to prepare for the record breaking task at hand.

On the day the weather cooperated with a beautiful sunny Nelson afternoon and so the Harrier Hunter made a spectacular sight whilst piloted into Port Nelson by Chris Geen. The mammoth vessel required the assistance of all three tugs, the Toia, WH Parr and Huria Matenga whilst in the swing basin and alongside the wharf.

Having been successfully unloaded and loaded by the Port’s skilled gang of stevedores and thrilling onlookers who witnessed her arrival, the Harrier Hunter made her way on to Wellington.

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