INCIDENTS of injury and vessel grounding featured prominently in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report for the 2018-19 financial year.

The ATSB document covers marine issues as well as topics relating to road, rail and aviation. In terms of maritime, the ATSB completed five marine safety investigations and four short investigations.

Reports included an investigation into a fall from height and serious injuries to crew members on board the Shanghai Spirit near Port Alma, Queensland in January 2017.


The safety message highlighted the importance of adhering to procedures to ensure safety, as well effective supervision.

A report was also issued into the grounding of the Australian Border Force cutter Roebuck Bay on Henry Reef in the Great Barrier Reef in September 2017.

The investigation highlighted that the safe and effective use of ECDIS as the primary means of navigation depended upon the mariner being thoroughly familiar with the equipment in use on board their vessel.

There was also the report from the investigation into the Madang Coast incident in Townsville in November 2015, where the bow made contact with the wharf. In this case, the risk management processes were deemed “not sufficiently mature nor resilient enough to effectively identify and mitigate risks in pilotage services”.

Looking ahead, ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood said he was “positive about the agency and the role we will play in improving transport safety going forward”.

“The ATSB has been through significant organisational change over the last few years, all directed towards enhancing our productivity and establishing a shared vision,” Mr Hood said. “The ATSB’s staff are dedicated, hard-working experts in their field. Their contribution to safety is highly valued and, with their support, I intend to ensure they are empowered and enabled to make this contribution well into the future.”