The worst storms in living memory hit the area, on land nine people lost their lives.
Pasha Bulker, a coal carrier, was awaiting its turn to load in the port, along with fifty or so ships offshore. The grounding on the reef off Nobby's Beach was not navigational error, it seems, more the overwhelming forces of nature. The coastguard had sent out a call to the waiting ships make way further out to sea.
Pasha Bulker, in ballast, high sided and presenting a huge sail area to the sixty mile per hour+ winds, failed to heed that warning and was unable to hold position.
After 25 days she was hauled off the reef, and towed to harbour, two giant staples stitching a crack in her hull. The official report has not yet been published.
More pics HERE
This is NOT the Pasha Bulker, but it's a guide to the sort of weather a ship like that encounters.