Marine safety investigations & reports

Independent investigation into the main engine failure on board the self discharging bulk carrier Enterprise in Bass Strait on 10 July 2006.

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 1540 on 10 July 2006, while Enterprise was in Bass Strait, Australia, an alarm sounded indicating that the main engine lubricating oil pressure was low. When the duty engineer started changing over to a second filter, lubricating oil pressure was lost; causing the engine to stop and the ship to black-out. The engine was restarted and the passage was resumed.

At 1805, the main engine low lubricating oil pressure alarm sounded again. At 2000, after further inspections had been undertaken, the chief engineer advised the master that the main engine could not be run due to probable bearing damage and that the ship would need to be towed to the nearest port for repairs. The main lubricating oil pump was also found, at this time, to have failed.

The ship was towed into Melbourne, arriving on 15 July, where all main and bottom end bearings were inspected. A large gouge mark was found on one bottom end bearing.

Further investigations revealed that the gudgeon pin in number five piston had failed when a pre-existing, undetected flaw led to fatigue cracking of the gudgeon pin. The engine manufacturer had not provided sufficient guidance for monitoring the fatigue life of gudgeon pins or for inspecting gudgeon pins for cracks.

The investigation also found that maintenance planning for the main lubricating oil pump was inadequate in that maintenance was not undertaken according to the manufacturer's instructions, despite the fact that the pump had failed previously.

The execution of routine maintenance on the lubricating oil filter was also inadequate in that the spare filter was not ready for use. The shipboard procedures did not identify the error and the procedures for operating and monitoring the filter were also ineffective.

The report makes three recommendations to address the identified safety issues with the aim of preventing other similar occurrences.

Marine Recommendations

[MR20070027] [MR20070028] [MR20070029]

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1006KB]
General details
Date: 10 July 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Location: Eastern Bass Strait    
State: Victoria    
Release date: 20 November 2007   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel MV Enterprise  
Flag A&B  
IMO 8321890  
Type of operation Self Discharging Bulk Carrier  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Adelaide, SA  
Destination Newcastle, NSW  
Last update 19 May 2016