Marine safety issues and actions

Contingency planning

Issue number: MO-2011-004-SI-02
Who it affects: All pilotage organisations
Issue owner: Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ)
Operation affected: Marine: Other
Background: Investigation Report 285-MO-2011-004
Date: 30 July 2012

Safety issue description

There has not been a comprehensive risk based approach to contingency planning for deep draught bulk carrier operations in Gladstone.


Action organisation: Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ)
Action number: MO-2011-004-SR-002
Date: 30 July 2012
Action status: Closed

The analysis of trading ship operations in Gladstone that had been carried out by the relevant authorities had not appropriately considered all that could be done to prevent the grounding of a ship as a result of steering gear or main engine failure.

Action taken by Maritime Safety Queensland

Maritime Safety Queensland has advised that its pilots have worked with the Gladstone Port Corporation and terminal operators to improve ships' readiness for departure by implementing rigorous pre-departure checks and gaining improved intelligence on ships. 

ATSB safety recommendation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that Maritime Safety Queensland takes further action to address the issue of contingency planning for foreseeable events like the grounding of a deep draught ship as a result of steering gear or main engine failure.

ATSB response:

This action does not address the unpredicted failure of steering gear. The authority has not reassesed its risk analysis.

Current issue status: Partially addressed
Status justification:

MSQ has advised the ATSB of increased vigilance on the part of pilots to gain better information about ships before their departure. The agency has also considered the use of escort tugs but has determined that their use would provide only a marginal risk reduction at a significant cost.

Last update 06 March 2014