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The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) today released its final investigation report into the 9 September 2009 collision between the Australian registered yacht Ella's Pink Lady and the Hong Kong registered bulk carrier Silver Yang off Point Lookout, Queensland.

The ATSB investigation found that when the two vessels collided, neither the yacht's skipper nor the ship's watch keepers were keeping a proper lookout, nor were they appropriately using navigational aids to manage the risk of collision.

The investigation also found that following the collision, the ship's watch keeper did not offer to assist the yacht's skipper. This is a problem that has also been highlighted by previous ATSB investigations.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Mr Martin Dolan said there are significant lessons to be learnt from this incident.

'This is a timely reminder that, under United Nations' conventions, ship operators have an obligation to offer assistance immediately to other vessels following a collision,' Mr Dolan said.

As a result of the ATSB investigation, the following key safety actions were taken:

  • Ella's Pink Lady's radar visibility was enhanced before its departure from Sydney.
  • The international requirement to render assistance following a collision has been highlighted.
  • Attention was drawn to the possible limits in the detectability of Class B AIS transmissions.
  • Silver Yang's operators intend to undertake further training of deck officers.
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Last update 01 April 2011