Sep 042008

Poor bridge team management lay behind the 7th December 2007 grounding of the Australian-registered bulker Endeavour River says the Australian Transport Safety Board, ATSB.

Says the ATSB: “On the afternoon of 2 December 2007, the Australian registered bulk carrier Endeavour River grounded in Gladstone harbour while attempting a mid-tide berthing at the South Trees Wharf.

The master was attempting to berth the ship on a flood tide, with a following wind, and was unable to position the ship correctly for its approach to the berth. Even with the use of two attending tugs, he was unable to counteract the tidal influence. Throughout the berthing manoeuvre, only the master, the chief mate and the deck cadet were on the bridge.

The ship grounded in the vicinity of A1 beacon at the entrance to the Auckland Channel, destroying the beacon in the process. Despite the assistance of all five of the port’s tugs, the ship could not be refloated at that time.

On 7 December, Endeavour River was successfully refloated on the morning high tide and manoeuvred with the aid of tugs to South Trees Wharf.

The investigation found that bridge resource management principles were not practiced by the bridge team and that no monitoring of the passage took place during the time leading up to the grounding. In addition, the bridge team lost situational awareness prior to the grounding. They became fixated on trying to berth the ship and were not responsive to other cues which would have alerted them that the ship was being set down into an area of shallow water.

The report identifies a number of safety issues and acknowledges safety actions which have been taken by ASP Ship Management and Maritime Safety Queensland to address those issues.”

The full report is available here.

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