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At 1215 on 27 October 1982, the fishing vessel Bongaree cleared Mooloolaba, (Qld) breakwater & set a course of 075° True at 8 knots, headed for the 100 fathom line. Shortly after 1230, a large vessel was seen to the south, which the Skipper assumed, from its heading, would pass astern. The skipper then handed over the watch to the deckhand, who busied himself tryinh to get a picture on the new TV set.

The Russian container ship Konstantin Paustovskiy disembarked its Brisbane pilot off Caloundra Head at 1232 & set a course, in autopilot, of 040°. A small boat was sighted at a distance of 2.4 miles, 15° on the port bow, which appeared to be proceeding on a parallel course. The relative bearing of the small boat increased slowly, but then, when a distance of about half a mile, the boat appeared to increase spped & alter course across the bow. The two vessels collided at approximately 1300 & the fishing vessel's hull being breached, as a result of which it sank. The container ship turned about & prepared to launch a lifeboat, but the skipper & deckhand were rescued by the Brisbane pilot vessel.


The Watch Officer aboard Konstantin Paustovskiy did not fully assess the situation & did not take timely action to avoid a close quarters situation.

A lookout was not maintained aboard Bongaree.

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