Marine safety investigations & reports

Collision between bulk carrier Goa and sailing vessel Marie Chocolat

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 938KB]

At about 0440 local time on Saturday, 19 February 2005, a collision occurred between the bulk carrier, Goa and the sailing vessel, Marie Chocolat. At the time of the collision Goa was in ballast, on a westerly heading, on the last leg of its voyage, to the anchorages offshore from the port of Newcastle, New South Wales. The ship was to anchor on arrival in order to wait its turn to load a cargo of wheat for export to Italy. Marie Chocolat, a privately owned yacht, was on a recreational voyage, heading south west, from Laurieton, NSW to Pittwater, north of Sydney.

The skipper of the yacht claimed to have seen the ship before the collision but did not realise that a collision situation existed. The crew on board Goa did not see the yacht until moments before the collision.

Immediately prior to the collision, the ship's crew made some evasive manoeuvres but Marie Chocolat still made contact with Goa's starboard quarter.

This report, as do many ATSB reports into large ship/small vessel collisions previously published, identifies the failure to keep a proper lookout as the most significant contributing factor.

The report also concludes that:

  • There was an inadequate handover of watch on board the yacht
  • The construction material of the yacht and the aspect of the mainsail significantly reduced the likelihood of its detection by the ship either visually or by radar.

The report contains recommendations to masters and skippers about maintaining a proper lookout. It also recommends that the appropriate authorities review the rules regarding the carriage of radar reflectors on small craft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 938KB]
General details
Date: 19 February 2005   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0440    
Location: offshore Newcastle    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 10 February 2006   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel 1 details

Vessel 1 details
Vessel Goa  
Flag India  
IMO 8511665  
Type of operation Bulk Carrier  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Busan, South Korea  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Newcastle, NSW  

Vessel 2 details

Vessel 2 details
Vessel Marie Chocolat KD515N  
Flag AUS  
Type of operation Sailing Vessel  
Damage to vessel Substantial  
Departure point Laurieton, NSW  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Pittwater, NSW  
Last update 19 May 2016