Marine safety investigations & reports

Collision between F & K and Jolly Roger off Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory 16 April 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 0100 on 16 April 2009, the bulk carrier F & K collided with the Australian fishing vessel Jolly Roger off Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. While F & K was undamaged, Jolly Roger listed heavily to port as a result of the collision and its crew of three had to abandon the vessel.

The ATSB investigation found that despite Jolly Roger being the 'give-way vessel', its skipper took no action to avoid the collision because there was no lookout being kept on board. Consequently, he was not aware of the ship's presence until immediately before the collision.

The investigation also found that F & K's bridge team had detected Jolly Roger 20 minutes before the collision. However, they mistakenly assumed that their ship was overtaking the fishing vessel because they had not used appropriate means to determine whether a risk of collision existed.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 632KB]
General details
Date: 16 April 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0105 (UTC+9 1/2 hrs)   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Off Groote Eyland    
State: Northern Territory    
Release date: 16 March 2010   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel 1 details

Vessel 1 details
Vessel Jolly Roger  
Flag Australian  
Type of operation Fishing Vessel  
Damage to vessel Substantial  
Departure point Groote Eyland  
Destination Blue Mud Bay  

Vessel 2 details

Vessel 2 details
Vessel F & K  
Flag Hong Kong  
IMO 9185815  
Type of operation Dry Bulk Carrier  
Damage to vessel Nil  
Departure point Out of Area  
Destination Groote Eyland  
Last update 03 April 2020