The ATSB is investigating the flooding of the steering gear compartment on board the Australian registered bulk carrier Goliath during passage from Melbourne to Devonport on 7 March 2018. 

The ATSB will conduct a short, fact-based investigation into this incident. As part of the investigation, the ATSB will obtain the necessary information from the ship and company and interview directly involved parties as deemed appropriate.

On 7 March, 2018, during passage from Melbourne to Devonport, ballast water exchange operations were in progress when it was found that salt water had entered the ship's steering gear compartment. Approximately 12m³ of water covered the compartment deck and overflowed into adjacent spaces and draining into the engine room bilges. Ballasting operations were stopped until the water was cleaned up.

The source of the leak is suspected to be a holed pipe within the after peak salt water ballast tank. Upon arrival at Devonport the tank is to be inspected and a permanent repair made.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, relevant parties will be immediately notified so that appropriate safety action can be taken.