Captain Aysuna is a 5-hatch, geared, Panama flag bulk carrier. The vessel, built at the Usuki Iron Works Ltd in Saiki, Japan in 1985, is classed with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai. It is owned by Hydale Trading Corporation and, at the time of the incident, was on time charter to BHP Transport and Logistics Pty Ltd.
The vessel has a length overall of 168 m, a beam of 27 m and a depth of 13.45 m. It has a gross tonnage of 16 080 and a summer deadweight of 26 914 tonnes at a draft of 9.547 m. Captain Aysuna is powered by a Mitsubishi 6 UEC52LA slow speed diesel engine delivering 5 279 kW to a single, fixedpitch, propeller, giving the vessel a service speed of 13.5 knots.
The vessel had a crew of 24, comprising 19 Bulgarian and two Indian nationals, a Russian, a Yugoslav and a Turk.
There was a definite and concerted attempt by members of the crew not to cooperate with the investigation. The area affected by the fire was cleaned and painted over in an attempt to hide all evidence of the cause of the fire, and, while the crew almost certainly knew what had caused the fire, they did not divulge this information to the ATSB.
It is probable that the fire was caused by spillage of a small amount of fuel from a container left at the forward edge of the boiler flat. The fuel, probably being used as a cleaning medium, could have spilled as a result of movement of the ship in rough seas. It is likely that this fuel was diesel oil.
The fire, while it produced a quantity of flame and smoke, only caused minor paint damage and did not cause any damage to machinery.
|Date:||08 October 2001||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Release date:||26 August 2003|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Type of operation||Bulk carrier|
|Damage to vessel||Minor|
|Departure point||Newcastle, NSW|