Marine safety investigations & reports

Grounding of the container ship MSC Basel in Moreton Bay, Queensland 1 November 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 0937 on 1 November 2010, the Liberian registered container ship MSC Basel grounded in Moreton Bay, Queensland, while departing the port of Brisbane.

MSC Basel was in the main shipping channel when its rudder unexpectedly moved to starboard without the application of any helm. The ship immediately began turning to starboard.

The main engine was run astern and the port anchor was let go. However, these actions could not prevent the ship from grounding on Yule Banks, just to the north of the channel.

The ATSB investigation found that the ship's rudder probably moved to starboard because of a malfunction of the steering control system.

However, inspections and tests carried out following the grounding did not identify any steering control system faults.

The investigation also found that MSC Basel's steering system had not been tested in accordance with SOLAS2 requirements before the ship departed Brisbane.

The investigation report identifies one safety issue and outlines the safety actions taken by MSC Basel's managers to address it. The report also issues one safety advisory notice.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.58MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 4.14MB]


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Safety Issue

Go to MO-2010-009-SI-01 -

Fault finding of steering system

Preliminary inspections and tests of MSC Basel steering system did not identify any faults. However, more thorough examinations of the entire steering systems may identify any intermittent defects.

Safety issue details
Issue number: MO-2010-009-SI-01
Who it affects: All ship's engineers
Status: Partially addressed
General details
Date: 01 November 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0937 (UTC +10)   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Moreton Bay    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 04 May 2011   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel MSC Basel  
Flag Liberian  
IMO 9008615  
Type of operation Container ship  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Departure time 0800, 1 November 2010  
Destination Singapore  
Last update 03 April 2020