Marine safety investigations & reports

Collision of Lysaght Endeavour with yacht Grunter

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On the evening of 16 December 1985, Lysaght Endeavour was proceeding northwards, in ballast, along the southern NSW coast. Shortly before 2200, the Watch Officer saw a single, small white light one point to port & the lookout reported the light shortly afterwards. No target was depicted on the radar screen & as the light remained on a steady bearing, the officer assumed that he was overtaking a small vessel, which was on a converging course. He therefore made a broad alteration to port, then gradually came back to the original course, keeping the other vessel fine to starboard. The white light suddenly disappeared under the starboard bow & Lysaght Endeavour collided with the fibreglass yacht Grunter, which was sailing on a southerly heading & stated to be displaying a tricoloured lantern at the masthead.

Grunter suffered only minor damage & was able to proceed to port unassisted.

The red section of Grunter's tricoloured lantern was foumd to have degraded to such an extent that it showed a white light. However, doubt was raised as to whether the bulb in the red section was working & that in fact the yacht was displaying the all round white anchor light.


Grunter was not showing the correct navigation lights, in that it was not displaying a red port sidelight.

Although there was one on board, Grunter did not carry a radar reflector in a prominent position, to enhance detection by radar.

The Watch Officer aboard Lysaght Endeavour misjudged the distance of the white light & resumed the original course too soon.

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[Download  PDF: 1.16MB]
General details
Date: 16 December 1985   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2205 EST    
Location: Nowra    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 01 June 1986   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Vessel 1 details

Vessel 1 details
Vessel Lysaght Endeavour D35561  
Flag Aus  
Type of operation Roll on-roll off cargo  
Damage to vessel Nil  
Departure point Fremantle, WA  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Port Kembla, NSW  

Vessel 2 details

Vessel 2 details
Vessel Grunter  
Flag N/A  
Type of operation Saling vessel  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point N/A  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Botany Bay  
Last update 18 May 2016