There were a total of 546 marine occurrences reported to the
Australian Transport Safety Bureau from 2005 to 2010. There were
significant decreases in reported occurrences in 2008 and 2010;
however, the number of serious incidents remained fairly constant
for the duration of the period. The number of accidents has
decreased from eight each year from 2005 to 2007 to three each year
from 2008 to 2010, which reflects the decrease in fatal accidents
and people missing during the second half of the period. Injuries
sustained were mainly to one person in each occurrence; however,
there were occasional occurrences where more than one person was

The West Australian and Queensland coasts had the most marine
occurrences, followed by New South Wales and Victoria. More than
half of occurrences in the Northern Territory occurred at sea, and
Tasmania and Victoria had about 75 and 70 percent of occurrences
while at berth or within harbours.

The most common time period for marine occurrences was between 8 am
and 11 am, however, another slight rise in occurrences is observed
between 1am and 7 am.

Most occurrences involved one vessel, however there were 43
occurrences where 2 vessels were involved, and one 3-vessel
occurrence between a barge in tow with a tug and an offshore
support vessel in 2010. The number of occurrences involving
Australian vessels has decreased over the time period, and a slight
increase was observed for occurrences involving foreign registered

The main vessels involved were bulk carriers and cargo vessels,
which also had the highest number of injuries recorded, and close
to one in four reported occurrences resulting in serious or fatal
injuries. Typical injuries sustained were falls from height, being
hit from falling or swinging objects, and burns from explosions,
flame bursts or hot fuel oil.

The most common type of occurrence involved damage to the ship or
equipment followed by serious injury and equipment failure.
Equipment failure, fires and explosions were associated with the
highest number of fatal and serious injuries. Cargo vessels, bulk
carriers and tankers were the most common vessels involved in
pollution occurrences, making up 22 out of 25 vessels with this
occurrence type. The majority of pollution occurrences involved the
venting of gases into the atmosphere, or small amounts of dangerous
goods or oil leaking.

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