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On 18 August 1985, while on a laden, northbound passage through the inner two-way route of the Great Barrier Reef, the Liberian bulk carrier Maritime Gardenia grounded on Alert Patches, at the eastern end of Torres Strait. The Master had not engaged a licensed coastal pilot for the passage and, with the 3rd Mate on watch, the Master had absented himself from the bridge for about half an hour just before the grounding. The vessel suffered extensive bottom damage, four port double bottom ballast tanks & three centre double bottom fuel tanks being breached.


No allowance was made in the courses steered for the influences of the tide & the following sea.

The Master did not return to the bridge in sufficient time, in which to fully assess the situation, before the course alteration was due.

The 3rd Mate did not utilise all the shipboard & shore navigational aids available to him & did not sufficiently monitor the ship's position, so that the ship overshot the course alteration position.

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[ Download PDF: 239KB]
General details
Date: 18 August 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: N/A  
Location:Coral Sea Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 01 February 1986  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Vessel details
Vessel: Maritime Gardenia D5237 
Flag: Liber 
Type of Operation: Bulk carrier 
Damage to Vessel: Substantial 
Departure point:Newcastle, NSW
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Penang, Malaysia
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Last update 18 May 2016