Oct 152012

Graph depicting number of groundings prior to, and after, the introduction of REEFVTS.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, has issued a new video on the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vesel Traffic Service, REEFVTS,  available for viewing on the AMSA website. Several high-profile groundings have led to installation of VTS and new procedures for the environmentally-critical area.

Located in Townsville, REEFVTS is a joint initiative of Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and AMSA. It is one of the largest coastal vessel traffic services in the world, monitoring from Cape York to Sandy Cape.

The Great Barrier Reef is recognised all over the world for both its stunning beauty and its environmental diversity. That’s why the International Maritime Organization declared the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait particularly sensitive sea areas. This means extra care needs to be taken to safeguard the reef from the potential impacts of shipping. Continue reading »

Jul 122010

A Ride the Duck DUKW in Seattle, similar to the amphibious vessel which sank in the Delaware

From the US National Transportation Safety Board:

In its continuing investigation of a collision involving a barge and an amphibious passenger vessel, the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following actual information:

On Wednesday July 7, 2010, about 2:36 pm, the 250-foot long empty sludge barge The Resource, which was being towed alongside by the 75.5 foot-long towing vessel M/V Caribbean Sea, collided with the anchored amphibious small passenger vessel the DUKW 34 in the Delaware River, near Philadelphia, PA. On board the DUKW 34 were 35 passengers and two crewmemers, and on board the Caribbean Sea were five crewmembers. Continue reading »

Apr 232010

imageAustralia’s Minister for infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, has announced new measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The first of the measures will extend the mandatory ship reporting system.

The system requiring all ships to regularly report their location and route to
authorities, backed up by real-time radio and satellite tracking of their progress, will be extended to the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

An official announcement says: “This action is based on advice from the nation’s the independent safety regulator, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA. Once implemented it will improve maritime safety and provide further protection for one of our most precious environmental assets.

Continue reading »

Job – Rail / Marine Recorders Analyst – Australia

 ATSB, Australia, Australian Maritime Safety Authority  Comments Off on Job – Rail / Marine Recorders Analyst – Australia
Jan 282010

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has a vacancy for an Rail / Marine Recorders Analyst in our Canberra office.

We are looking a highly motivated individual to work as part of a small team of transport safety professionals. The position broadly involves the application of engineering science to the investigation and analysis of transport safety occurrences.

Continue reading »

Jan 112010

image Both Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, and the United States Coast Guard, USCG, are turning their attention to safe cargo stowage in coming months. AMSA is to launch a ‘focussed inspection campaign’ fro February through April while the USCG is appealing for public comments on cargo securing methods for packages in transport vehicles or freight containers.

Continue reading »

Dec 062009


From the Australian Maritime Safety Authority:

Since the flow of oil was stopped on 3 November 2009, AMSA has conducted exhaustive and methodical aerial surveillance over the Montara well head platform area of operations in an effort to identify any remaining patches of oil or sheen.

Daily flights utilising two aircraft located no oil or sheen and were discontinued last Saturday 28th November 2009. The flights included detailed observations of areas around the vicinity of the platform, back to the Western Australian coastline and up towards Indonesian waters. Marine parks including Ashmore and Cartier Reef were also closely examined. As a consequence of no oil being found and advice from PTTEP Australasia, the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances has been deactivated today and demobilisation of all clean-up assets has commenced.

The responsibility for the incident has been handed back to the Designated Authority and PTTEP Australasia.


Sep 062008

Compared to other launch systems,
free-fall lifeboat accidents are relatively rare.
This one was just a drop in the ocean.

Listen To The Podcast


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Aussie Bulker Grounding – "Poor BTM"

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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.

Smelly Containers and Dodgy Engines

 ATSB, Australia, Australian Maritime Safety Authority  Comments Off on Smelly Containers and Dodgy Engines
Nov 202007

Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau has released two incident reports, one involving improperly packed hazardous cargo in a container and one about an engine failure due to a fatigued gudgeon pin and questionable maintenance.

Independent investigation into the leakage of dangerous goods on board the Liberian registered container ship, Kota Pahlawan off the coast of Australia on 16 June 2006

Occurrence Details

Occurrence Number: 228 Location: En route Singapore to Torres S
Occurrence Date: 16 June 2006 State: QLD
Occurrence Time: 1000 local time Highest Injury Level: None
Occurrence Category: Incident Investigation Type: Occurrence Investigation
Occurrence Class: # Investigation Status: Completed
Occurrence Type: Equipment Release Date: 20 November 2007

Vessel Details

Vessel: Kota Pahlawan Flag: Lib
IMO: 9142942
Type of Operation: Container
Damage to Vessel: Nil
Departure Point: Singapore Departure Time: N/A
Destination: Brisbane

On 16 June 2006, during Kota Pahlawan’s voyage from Singapore to Australia, a foul odour was noted coming from two containers on board the ship. The containers were packed with xanthates, dangerous goods which produce carbon disulphide vapours and can spontaneously combust.

Later that day, the master informed the ship’s charterer of the ‘incident’ and that the odour indicated that the packaging of the xanthates was not ‘gas-tight’, in accordance with international rules. He also asked for the containers to be discharged at Brisbane, the ship’s next port of call.

At 0411 on 18 June, the master reported the incident as a defect to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). At 0720, the ship embarked a coastal pilot and started its transit of the Great Barrier Reef.

At 0907 on 19 June, AMSA issued a defect report and started collecting information about the incident. At 1252, the pilot disembarked from the ship after it had completed its transit of the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef Inner Route.

The ship berthed in Brisbane on 22 June after an ‘emergency’ was declared in the port. All eight xanthates containers on board the ship were discharged and purged with nitrogen gas to mitigate the risks posed by the foul smelling, highly flammable and toxic carbon disulphide vapours. On 24 June, the master was asked to reload the containers. He agreed on the condition that AMSA provide a written acceptance of the proposal with regard to ‘compliance’ with international rules.

By 0400 on 25 June, the xanthates containers had been reloaded onto the ship before it sailed from Brisbane. On 6 July, the ship discharged the last of the xanthates containers in Fremantle.

The report identifies several safety issues and the safety actions to address them.Download complete report [1.6 MB PDF]