Marine safety investigations & reports

Auxiliary boiler explosion on board Saldanha off Newcastle, 18 November 2008

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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[Download  PDF: 398KB]

On 18 November 2008, while the Maltese registered bulk carrier Saldanha was anchored off Newcastle, NSW, a ship's engineer was burned when the auxiliary boiler furnace 'flashed back' during a routine boiler oil firing unit burner exchange.

The ATSB investigation into the incident found that the ship's crew were not aware of all of the hazards associated with maintaining the boiler burner; were not aware of previous flashbacks involving similar burners; and were not aware of the appropriate first aid treatment required for burn injuries.

The investigation also found that the safety bulletin that had been previously issued by the manufacturer did not inform operators that the oil firing unit could be modified.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 398KB]
General details
Date: 18 November 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: UTC +11   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location: Off Newcastle    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 22 October 2009   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Saldahna  
Flag Malta  
IMO 9268992  
Type of operation Bulk Carrier  
Damage to vessel Nil  
Departure point Newcastle, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020