Marine safety investigations & reports

Grounding of Australian flag bulk carrier River Embley

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
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On the afternoon of 9 May 1987, the bulk carrier River Embley, laden with a cargo of bauxite, was making an easterly passage through the Torres Strait at maximum draught. At 1700, the vessel grounded momentarily when to the south of the Alert Patches buoy, as a result of which the vessel sustained damage to the hull & flooded the forepeak tank & No 1 void space.

The vessel was taken to a safe anchorage, where temporary repairs were effected, to enable it to proceed to Gladstone to discharge the cargo.

No one was injured & no pollution resulted from the incident.


  • A detailed passage plan for the passage had not been prepared.
  • The Pilot had not briefed the Master fully on his intentions.
  • The ship's speed was excessive for the depth of water available at the time.
  • It would have been prudent for the Pilot to have made an earlier alteration of course.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 994KB]
General details
Date: 09 May 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1700 EST    
Location: Torres Strait    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 01 January 1988   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel River Embley  
Flag Aus  
IMO 8018144  
Type of operation Bulk carrier  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Weipa, Qld  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Gladstone, Qld  
Last update 23 May 2016