THE CONTAINERSHIP CMA CGM Puccini on Thursday (25 May) lost steering ability and hit a navigational beacon in the Yarra River as it was departing the Port of Melbourne, according to a spokesperson from Ports Victoria.

The vessel departed Swanson Dock at 0418 on Thursday, and lost steering while still in the river, south of the West Gate Bridge.

“As a result, the stern of the ship hit a navigational beacon which suffered damage. There were no injuries or environmental pollution,” a spokesperson for Ports Victoria told DCN.

“Ports Victoria managed the response to the incident. Under Ports Victoria’s direction, the marine pilot already on board the ship and the two tugs that had been assisting the ship, moved the ship safely out of the river to a berth at Webb Dock.”

The spokesperson said the vessel would be assessed for damage and will remain in Melbourne until AMSA, the shipping line and Ports Victoria are satisfied it is safe to continue its voyage.

A spokesperson for ANL confirmed the vessel was at the Victoria International Container Terminal at Webb Dock on Friday.

“The CMA CGM Puccini will be 48 hours delayed to Sydney as she experienced steering gear malfunction while departing Melbourne,” the spokesperson said on Friday evening.

“The vessel proceeded back to port to undergo review. The Puccini is currently at a layby berth provided by VICT and is expected to depart Saturday [27 May].”

CMA CGM Puccini was due at Sydney on Friday (26 May).

According to publicly available AIS data, the vessel departed the VICT terminal at about 0800 on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it is gathering further information as to the circumstances of an incident involving a container ship at the Port of Melbourne.

“During vessel departure, it was reported the vessel experienced a steering gear failure and impacted a lateral buoy,” the spokesperson said.

“The ship was then safely moored at Webb Dock East.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority told DCN on Friday it was aware of the incident, and it had detained the vessel pending confirmation of its seaworthiness.

CMA CGM Puccini is flagged in Malta and has a capacity of 5782 TEU. It has a draft of 14.5 metres and is 277.3 metres long (LOA).

The vessel is on the A3N service, which calls Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane before heading back to Yokohama.