Marine safety investigations & reports

Collision between Jag Arnav and Total Response, off Bunbury, Western Australia on 23 June 2015

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed
Phase: Final report: Dissemination Read more information on this investigation phase

Final Report

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What happened

On 23 June 2015, in daylight with clear visibility, the bulk carrier Jag Arnav and fast utility vessel Total Response collided about 26 NM north-west of Bunbury, Western Australia. Jag Arnav sustained minor damage and no injuries to the crew. Total Response sustained structural damage to its bow and deck, and two crew members received lacerations and abrasions. Both vessels were able to resume their passage.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that a proper and effective lookout by all available means as required by the regulations was not being maintained on either vessel.

The investigation found that Total Response’s unqualified deckhand was performing the duties of deck watchkeeper without adequate supervision. Jag Arnav was not detected by anyone on board Total Response and consequently, no avoiding action was taken. The investigation considered it likely that the chief mate and deckhand on board Total Response were at least in a state of reduced alertness attributable to environmental factors including workload prevalent on the day.

The investigation also identified that Jag Arnav’s officer of the watch, the third officer, did not maintain an effective lookout despite various electronic aids to navigation detecting Total Response. The third officer reported visually detecting Total Response, but incorrectly assessed the vessel to be passing clear. No use was made of other available means such as radar or automatic identification system to confirm the assessment and determine risk of collision. Therefore, no action was taken to avoid collision with Total Response.

What's been done as a result

The owner of Jag Arnav, the Great Eastern Shipping Company, advised that it has circulated its report into the collision to other ships that they manage and will provide additional training for navigation officers. The company has also emphasised their requirements as laid out in its safety management system with regard to the use of radar for position fixing, acquiring observed targets, use of automatic target acquisition and the use of radar overlay on the electronic chart display and information system.

Safety message

Over the past 28 years, the ATSB or its predecessors have investigated 38 collisions between trading ships and small vessels on the Australian coast. These investigations have found that failure to keep a proper and effective lookout and to take early and effective avoiding action are recurring contributing factors to these collisions. This was again highlighted by this accident.

The detection of other vessels is the first step in assessing the risk of a collision and taking avoiding action. Systematic visual observations and active use of electronic equipment designed to detect and monitor other vessels can reduce the risk of vessels going undetected or the risk of a collision being incorrectly assessed. Early detection, monitoring and correct assessment of the risk of a collision ensures that timely and appropriate avoiding action can be taken.


Download final report
[Download  PDF: 1.06MB]

The occurrence


Safety analysis


Safety issues and actions

Sources and submissions


General details
Date: 23 June 2015   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1125 WST (UTC +8 hours)   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 48 km north-west of Bunbury   Investigation phase: Final report: Dissemination  
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 08 June 2018   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Vessel 1 details

Vessel 1 details
Operator TAMS, Australia  
Vessel Total Response  
Flag Australia (Western Australia)  
IMO Call sign MH3168  
Sector Offshore industry  
Type of operation Sea passage  
Damage to vessel Unknown  
Departure point Albany, WA  
Destination Fremantle, WA  

Vessel 2 details

Vessel 2 details
Operator The Great Eastern Shipping Company, India  
Vessel Jag Arnav  
Flag India  
IMO 9705354  
Sector Bulk carrier  
Type of operation Commercial cargo - sea passage  
Damage to vessel Minor  
Departure point Bunbury, WA  
Destination Jebel Ali (UAE)  
Last update 03 April 2020