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A report released today by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found that the Kuwaiti flag tanker Al Deerah, loaded with cargo, had grounded in the Tamar River, Tasmania on 30 April 2000 due to factors related to the tide and the rate of turn in the river.

The effects of starboard rudder used in the turn off Garden Island, combined with differing tidal strengths at the bow and the stern of the vessel and the inability to reduce the rapid rate of turn, were the main factors.

The accident happened when the tanker, inbound for Bell Bay on a flood tide, was following normal navigational procedures. During the turn to starboard to round Garden Island, the ship's pilot noticed that it was turning too quickly, and despite the use of full counter rudder, it continued to swing to starboard.

The tanker made contact with the bottom southeast of Garden Island. It listed to starboard as ballast tanks (which protected the inner cargo tanks on the double hull vessel) were breached and began filling with water.

The tanker was anchored to assess the effects of the damage and was later berthed in Bell Bay without further incident. The cargo tanks were undamaged, no-one was injured and no pollutants escaped the ship.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority detained the tanker and an examination of the hull was conducted by the classification society. On 1 May 2000 the vessel was released to sail for Burnie and, after completion of cargo discharge at Port Botany, to dry dock for repairs.

Read the report summary or download the full report


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Last update 29 January 2014