Marine safety investigations & reports

Grounding of the Australian flag training vessel Wyuna

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 19 October 2000, the Australian Maritime College vessel Wyuna was being used to train students in night pilotage exercises in the Tamar River.

The exercises had commenced before dawn that morning, resuming at 2000 under the master's supervision. An outward passage and an inward passage were satisfactorily completed and a second outward passage was started.

The tide was ebbing. The sky was overcast with moderate rain, the wind was SSE at force 4/5 and the visibility was moderate to good. During the early stages of the passage out, the master observed that the vessel was overshooting course alteration points. On both occasions he verified Wyuna's position and brought the vessel back on track.

After clearing North West Bank beacon, the master became disorientated and confused North West Bank Beacon for Shear Rock Beacon. He instructed the student on the con to set a course to take Wyuna clear of the river, but the vessel was set on course for Shear Rock. At 2305, Wyuna struck Shear Rock.

The master stopped the engines and checked the electronic chart display, which showed the vessel on Shear Rock. The tide was setting the ship across the rock but, about 2 minutes later, the ship was afloat once more, being carried northward across the channel.

The master let go the port anchor with a shackle1 and a half of chain, but this did not arrest the ship's drift and, at 2315, the ship grounded once more, on Middle Bank. The chief engineer reported that there was no apparent damage to machinery, so the master used the engines to prevent the ship from going further aground and, at 2317, Wyuna steamed back into the channel.

The master took the ship back to anchor at Bell Bay while continuing to check the vessel for any damage. No oil or water was lost from the ship but numbers 10 and 11 double bottom tanks were making water through sprung seams and rivets.

A shackle is about 27 metres.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.65MB]
General details
Date: 19 October 2000   Investigation status: Completed  
Location: Tamar River    
State: Tasmania    
Release date: 27 March 2002   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Wyuna  
Flag Aus  
IMO 54393907  
Type of operation Training Vessel  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Tamar River  
Last update 19 May 2016