Marine safety investigations & reports

Independent investigation into the engine room fire on board the Liberian registered container ship Maersk Duffield in Moreton Bay, Queensland on 10 December 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 10 December 2009, during Maersk Duffield's transit into Brisbane, Queensland, the ship's number four diesel generator (4DG) suffered a catastrophic failure, disabling the generator and starting a fire. The engine room was evacuated and the ship's fixed carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishing system was operated. After the fire was extinguished, the crew were able to restart most of the ship's equipment and it berthed the following morning.

The ATSB investigation found that it is possible that one or more of the connecting rod palm nuts or counterweight nuts had not been sufficiently tightened during recent overhauls and that the resultant failure of one of the retaining studs was the initiator of the catastrophic engine failure.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 825KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 3.61MB]


General details
Date: 10 December 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1316 (UTC +10)   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Moreton Bay    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 17 December 2010   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Maersk Duffield  
Flag Liberia  
IMO 9227340  
Type of operation Container ship  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Singapore  
Departure time 1030  
Destination Brisbane, QLD  
Last update 03 April 2020