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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.

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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.

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Safety issues

MO-2010-003-SI-01 - MO-2010-003-SI-02 - MO-2010-003-SI-03 - MO-2010-003-SI-04 -  

Fatigue management system

There was no effective fatigue management system in place to ensure that the bridge watch keeper was fit to stand a navigational watch after the loading in Gladstone.

Issue Number:MO-2010-003-SI-01
Who it affects:All ship owners, operators, managers and masters
Status:Partially addressed


 

Safety management system for passage planning

The ship’s safety management system did not contain procedures or guidance on the proper use of GPS route plans and their relationship to the ship’s passage plans.

Issue Number:MO-2010-003-SI-02
Who it affects:All ship owners, operators, managers and masters
Status:Not addressed


 

Lack of visual cues for dangers

In the 30 minutes leading up to the grounding, 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.

Issue Number:MO-2010-003-SI-03
Who it affects:All masters, deck officers and pilots
Status:Adequately addressed


 

Sea area off Gladstone not 'protected'

At the time of the grounding, the protections afforded by some of the measures currently employed in the more northern sections of the GBR were not in place in the sea area off Gladstone.

Issue Number:MO-2010-003-SI-04
Who it affects:All masters, deck officers, pilots and VTS operators
Status:Adequately addressed

 

General details

Date: 03 Apr 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1705 (UTC +10) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Douglas Shoal  
State: QLD  
Release date: 14 Apr 2011 Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 

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

Related links

Media briefing: 14 April 2011 - Final report

Media briefing: 15 April 2010 - Preliminary report

Safety Recommendations

 
 
 
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Last update 20 August 2012