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The final report into the investigation of the grounding of the Wyuna in the Tamar River, Tasmania on 19 October 2000, has concluded that crew fatigue may have been a contributing factor. The report was released today by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The Australian training vessel had grounded on Shear Rock after the master gave a series of incorrect course orders to a student under training.

The vessel was carried northward by the tide and grounded again on Middle Bank before the master was able to manoeuvre the vessel into the channel. There were no injuries and no pollution of the river.

The master took the vessel back to its anchorage at Bell Bay while continuously checking for damage. Numbers 10 and 11 tanks were slowly taking water which indicated a leak through sprung seams and rivets.

The report concluded there was insufficient oversight of the vessel's operation by the Australian Maritime College. The master's loss of concentration and inability to identify the vessel's correct position was possibly due to fatigue.

It is also possible that fatigue was the reason for the master setting an incorrect course and insistence that the course be maintained.

It was noted in the report that the three students on the bridge at the time of the accident did not challenge the master's divergence from the voyage plan.

The investigation has recommended that the Australian Maritime College implement an appropriate safety management system for the vessel, and that a daily record of hours worked by each crew member be maintained. This would facilitate the monitoring of fatigue levels of individual members of the crew.

The report can be downloaded from the website: or by telephoning 1800 020 616.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
 
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Last update 01 April 2011