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Ship grounding resulted from crew error



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4\v A U S T R A L IA ,^ Peter Cook Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support

6 July 1992 33/92

SHIP GROUNDING RESULTED FROM CREW ERROR

A course deviation, undetected by the ship's crew, caused the Panamanian product tanker, "Jovian Loop" to become grounded on the Great Barrier Reef last September, according to a report by the Department of Transport and Communications.

'The report highlights the need for improvement in the standard of training and operational procedures on some foreign ships trading with Australia', the Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support, Senator Peter Cook, commented today on the release of the report.

'It also illustrates the importance of the Federal Government's introduction of compulsory pilotage for ships transiting the Great Barrier Reef from 1 October 1991.'

Senator Cook said Australia supported efforts by the International Maritime Organisation to develop measures to improve operational competence of ships' crews.

The investigation found that, while the pilot was absent from the bridge for less than 30 minutes, the correct course had been altered when the helmsman changed from manual to automatic steering.

The officer of the watch had failed to detect the change because of poor operational procedures. The report also criticised the Master for attempting to refloat the vessel immediately following the grounding before its watertight integrity had been

confirmed.

'While the ship was refloated without assistance an hour after its grounding and no pollution resulted, the incident illustrates how inattention and poor seamanship can lead to a casualty', Senator Cook said.

Copies of the report are available at regional offices of the Department of Transport and Communications in each capital city. Γ

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COMMONWEALTH P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBR A R Y MiCAH

Media inquiries: Don Mackay (06) 277 7320

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