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Towage crews pull together to relocate teams to Port Hedland

BHP’s Marine team and towage contract partners used some quick thinking to relocate towage crews and their families to Port Hedland, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

It’s the towage crews’ job to make sure BHP’s iron ore ships enter and leave the port safely, and while many of the contracted crews live locally in WA, others commute from across Australia for their shifts.

As the WA borders were closing, the contractor groups worked quickly to relocate their crews so they could safely continue to work. This in turn has meant BHP can keep operations running, and continue to serve our customers.

Among those who have relocated with their family is Joe, a Tug Master from one of BHP’s towage operation contractors. Joe relocated with his wife and two children from Port Lincoln, SA to Port Hedland.

“It’s extremely reassuring to have my family with me”, Joe said.

“Given this is something we have never experienced before, it has been incredible how we have worked together and put in place new policies and procedures to overcome challenges in such a short time.” 

Kirsty Timbury, Manager Marine, said she was overwhelmed by the support shown by our contracting partners to ensure continued operations during this time.

“The support and dedication shown by the contractor groups has been amazing. They put the call out on Saturday afternoon about the possibility to relocate and they were on a plane by Tuesday”, Kirsty said.

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