Marine safety investigations & reports

Hawser failure and manoeuvring difficulties on Dampier Spirit

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At 0958 on 6 April 2006, the mooring hawser attaching Dampier Spirit to the CALM  buoy at the Stag oil platform off Dampier, Western Australia, parted and forced the ship to put to sea as a cyclone approached.

Dampier Spirit's master had delayed making the decision to disconnect from the CALM buoy when a cyclone, centred 200 miles from the ship, was declared. His decision may have been delayed because of ambiguities in the company's decision guidelines; the procedures did not accurately reflect the ship's ability to sail away from danger; the Stag platform was still discharging crude oil into the ship's cargo tanks; and the ship had safely remained at the buoy during a previous cyclone.

After the ship had separated from the buoy, it had difficulty in manoeuvring away from the area because the performance of the ship was reduced by the 'slow steaming' fuel injector nozzles fitted in the main engine and by the build-up of barnacle and coral growth on the hull.

The ship was tracking towards Tryal Rocks until the wind eased, allowing it to sail into safer water. If Dampier Spirit had grounded on Tryal Rocks, its 12 100 tonnes of crude oil cargo may have been spilled into the sea, resulting in significant damage to the environmentally sensitive mangroves and turtle nesting grounds in the area.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 352KB]
General details
Date: 06 April 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0948 & 0100 (UTC+8)    
Location: Near Dampier    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 20 February 2007   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Dampier Spirit  
Flag Bahamas  
IMO 8613748  
Type of operation FSO  
Damage to vessel Nil  
Last update 19 May 2016