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On 1 December 1992, while engaged in a navigational training exercise off the north-west coast of Flinders island, Bass Strait the Australian Maritime College training ship Wyuna struck a submerged object while navigating the passage between North and Mid Pasco Islands.

The Wyuna sustained damage to bottom plating and internal structure, which resulted in diesel fuel oil and sea water flooding the engine-room bilge.

There were no injuries caused by the incident, but diesel oil was pumped overboard from the engine-room bilge. After the situation was stabilised, the Wyuna was able to return to its base at Beauty Point.


It is considered that:

  1. The Wyuna struck an uncharted underwater obstruction, later confirmed to be an uncharted rock.
  2. Neither the Master nor the Second officer realised that the soundings in the areas through which they were proceeding were in "hairline", or appreciated the full significance of that fact.
  3. The Master's concerns for the safety of the ship, both from the foundering and explosion/fire points of view, were justified.
  4. The Master's orders to pump overboard the diesel oil accumulating in the engine room bilge was justified.
  5. The Master's conclusion that the radar information was wrong and that the Wyuna had grounded on the northern shore of Mid Pasco island was erroneous.
  6. The Master's decision to make for the closest sandy beach was appropriate.
  7. In taking the Wyuna back through the Pasco Passage the Master risked the ship striking the underwater obstruction a second time.
  8. The reporting of the oil discharge at 0600 was in accordance with the requirements of the Marpol Convention.
  9. Earlier advice to MRCC Canberra of the striking of the submerged obstruction and the ingress of water would have been prudent.
  10. The Master's decision, after having made a full appraisal of the situation, to weigh anchor and return to Beauty Point, was reasonable.
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