THE Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating a near-miss grounding that occurred on 4 May in Hydrographers Passage.

According to a preliminary summary of the incident from the ATSB, at about 0313 on 4 May the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Rosco Poplar was transiting Hydrographers Passage inbound, under the conduct of a pilot, when it came within 200 metres of Bond Reef.

An alert came through from the electronic navigational aid that the ship was passing less than 200 metres from Bond Reef.

The ship’s course was altered to return to the planned track and it did not ground.


The vessel traffic service monitoring ships in the area also received a potential grounding alert and communicated with the pilot onboard.

The ATSB report said the ship continued its passage without further incident and anchored off Hay Point. Subsequent verification of radar and other electronic data confirmed the near-miss grounding.

The ATSB said it would examine the circumstances leading to the “serious near-miss”. This includes interviewing the pilot and other relevant people and analysing recorded data on the ship and ashore.