Marine safety investigations & reports

Independent investigation into the grounding of the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 at Douglas Shoal, Queensland on 3 April 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.41MB]

At 1705 on 3 April 2010, the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 grounded on Douglas Shoal, about 50 miles north of the entrance to the port of Gladstone, Queensland. The ship's hull was seriously damaged by the grounding, with the engine room and six water ballast and fuel oil tanks being breached, resulting in a small amount of pollution.

The ATSB investigation found that the grounding occurred because the chief mate did not alter the ship's course at the designated course alteration position. His monitoring of the ship's position was ineffective and his actions were affected by fatigue.

The ATSB identified four safety issues during the investigation: there was no effective fatigue management system in place to ensure that the bridge watchkeepers were fit to stand a navigational watch after they had supervised the loading of a cargo of coal in Gladstone; there was insufficient guidance in relation to the proper use of passage plans, including electronic route plans, in the ship's safety management system; there were no visual cues to warn either the chief mate or the seaman on lookout duty, as to the underwater dangers directly ahead of the ship; and, at the time of the grounding, the protections afforded by the requirement for compulsory pilotage and active monitoring of ships by REEFVTS, were not in place in the sea area off Gladstone.

The ATSB has issued two safety recommendations to Shen Neng 1's management company regarding the safety issues associated with fatigue management and passage planning and acknowledges the safety action taken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in relation to the extension of REEFVTS coverage to include the waters off Gladstone.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.41MB]


Download Preliminary Report
[Download  PDF: 561KB]

Preliminary report released 15 April 2010

At 1705 on 3 April 2010, Shen Neng 1 grounded at Douglas Shoal, about 50 miles north of the entrance to the port of Gladstone, Queensland.

The ship had departed Gladstone at 1054 that day after loading a full cargo of coal destined for Bayuquan, China. The ship's hull was seriously damaged by the grounding and a number of water ballast tanks and at least one fuel oil tank were breached resulting in pollution. Sea water also entered the engine room. Salvors boarded the ship on 4 April. The ship was refloated on 12 April and towed to a location off Great Keppel Island.

Download Preliminary Report
[Download  PDF: 561KB]
General details
Date: 03 April 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1705 (UTC +10)    
Location   (show map): Douglas Shoal   Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation  
State: Queensland    
Release date: 14 April 2011    
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Shen Neng 1  
Flag China  
IMO 9040871  
Type of operation Bulk Carrier  
Damage to vessel Substantial  
Departure point Gladstone, Qld  
Destination Bayuquan, China  
Last update 14 November 2018