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At 0710 on 15 July 2008, the Greek registered bulk carrier Atlantic Eagle sailed from Albany, Western Australia, partly loaded with a cargo of grain. At 0815, the ship was just outside port limits and its speed had been increased to 14 knots for the voyage to Fremantle, Western Australia.

During the next 10 minutes, the master made two significant course alterations and then set the ship on a heading of 235º, an allowance of five degrees to port of the ship's planned course. At 0835, he left the bridge, instructing the second mate to keep the ship on the set heading and clear of islands.

The second mate maintained the ship on a heading of 235º but did not monitor the ship's progress or establish its position. At 0856½, Atlantic Eagle grounded on Maude Reef, seriously damaging its hull, rudder and steering gear before moving clear of the reef. The grounding did not result in any pollution.

On 24 August, after completing temporary repairs, the ship was towed from Albany, bound for Jakarta, Indonesia, to discharge its cargo in preparation for undergoing permanent repairs in Vietnam.

The investigation found that Atlantic Eagle's safety management system procedures for navigation and record keeping had not been effectively implemented on board the ship. The report issues two recommendations to address these safety issues.

Marine Recommendations [MO-2008-007-SR-023] [MO-2008-007-SR-024]

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