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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 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Collision 
Release date: 10 February 2006  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
 
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: Marie Chocolat KD515N 
Flag: AUS 
IMO: N/A 
Type of Operation: Sailing Vessel 
Damage to Vessel: Substantial 
Departure point:Laurieton, NSW
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Pittwater, NSW

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Last update 19 May 2016