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The Japanese registered wood-chip carrier Daishowa Maru arrived off Twofold Bay, New South Wales at 1818 local time on February 1992. As the ship was not to berth until 0700, 11 February, the Master proceeded to the Quarantine Anchorage, where the ship anchored at 1930 on 10 February 1992.

Shortly after midnight, in strong winds, the ship dragged anchor and although attempts were made to weigh anchor and head out to sea, it was driven ashore on Whale Spit, off Tororago Point, at 0040, 11 February.

The ship was eventually refloated at 1000 on 13 February 1992 and towed to anchorage in the outer bay. An underwater survey showed that the ship had suffered considerable damage to the bottom plating, but the hull had not been breached and no pollution occurred as a result of the grounding.

The propeller, rudder and steering gear had also all been damaged, therefore the owners decided that the ship should be towed to Japan for repairs. The towage operation commenced on 14 February 1992.


It is considered that:

  1. With the wind from the east-south-east the Daishowa Maru was provided very little protection from the wind by Jews Head.
  2. The Twofold Bay Quarantine Anchorage is not a safe anchorage for large vessels in a strong easterly wind or heavy easterly swell.
  3. The strong wind and high swell warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology should have indicated to the Master that, under the forecast conditions, the Twofold Bay Quarantine Anchorage was not safe, placing the ship on a lee shore.
  4. The anchor broke out of its holding and the Daishowa Maru commenced dragging anchor during the height of the passing squall, at sometime between 0015 and 0020 on 11 February.
  5. While waiting for the engine and anchor party to be ready the Master and Second Officer both failed to ascertain the direction in which the ship was dragging.
  6. In his concern to head the ship to the east and pick up the anchor, the Master failed to fully evaluate the situation and consider alternative actions. It is further considered that the bridge watchkeeping procedures aboard the Daishowa maru were deficient in that:
  7. The ship's officers failed to keep a proper record of the anchor position bearing and distances.
  8. The ship's officers failed to fully utilise the equipment available to them to monitor the ship's position while at anchor.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 737KB]
General details
Date: 11 February 1992 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: N/A  
Location:Twofold Bay Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Grounding 
Release date: 05 October 1992  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Vessel details
Vessel: Daishowa Maru 
IMO: 8600557 
Type of Operation: Bulk wood-chip carrier 
Damage to Vessel: Substantial 
Departure point:Shimizu, Japan
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Twofold Bay, NSW
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Last update 18 May 2016