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Sail training ship groundings

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation report released today states that on two occasions the Australian registered sail training ship Leeuwin II grounded on uncharted shoals in poorly or inadequately surveyed areas.

On 22 July 2005 Leeuwin II grounded on an uncharted shoal during a voyage under motor from Careening Bay to the Hunter River in the Kimberly region of Western Australia. Just under two months later, on 16 September 2005, Leeuwin II grounded on an uncharted shoal in Shark Bay, Western Australia, during a passage from Denham to Monkey Mia.

Both groundings were investigated by the ATSB, and because of the similarities in the key factors which led to both incidents, the reports have been combined.

The ATSB investigation report concludes that the masters' lack of local knowledge of the areas may have led to an over reliance on the survey information presented on the navigation charts.

The report also concludes that proper passage planning was not used in the preparation of the voyages and that an effective risk management strategy could have led to the development of procedures and practices which may have reduced the risk of the groundings occurring.

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Last update 01 April 2011