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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.

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Safety issue

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)  
Location   (show map):Moreton Bay Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Grounding 
Release date: 04 May 2011  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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

Safety Advisory Notice

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Last update 14 November 2018