In the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) preliminary report of the breakaway and grounding of product tanker CSC Friendship (IMO 9344150) in the Port of Brisbane during flooding on February 27th 2022, it was noted that at about 22:50 local time, during an increased ebb tidal flow in the river, one of the ship’s stern lines parted suddenly. This increased the load on the 13 remaining mooring lines. These, over the following 90 minutes, also failed. During this time the ship’s crew used the main engine and an anchor in an attempt to arrest the ship’s movement, and a number of harbour tugs attended to assist. However, despite these efforts, the ship broke away from the berth at about 00.30 on February 28th, was swept downstream, and grounded to the east of Clara Rock beacon at Lytton Rocks Reach.
The preliminary report outlined factual information established through the transport safety investigation’s early evidence collection phase. It did not include analysis or findings, which will be detailed in the ATSB’s final report.
The product tanker was alongside the Ampol Products Wharf in Brisbane, loaded with 25,000 tonnes of diesel oil and 7,000 tonnes of gasoline for a voyage to Adelaide. A low-pressure system and associated rain and wind was impacting the greater Brisbane area, resulting in significant flooding of the Brisbane River.
For the four hours after the grounding the pilot attended the ship, which was refloated at 05:30 on February 28th by tugs. During the salvage efforts, the ship grounded a second and third time while being moved downriver. It eventually anchored at Brisbane’s ship-to-ship transfer anchorage at about 06:45. Subsequent inspections confirmed some shell plate damage, including buckling and medium to heavy abrasion of the hull, but no hull penetration or cracking of plate or welds.
The ship then sailed to Port Botany to discharge its cargo, before it headed to Liuheng, China, where it drydocked for repairs from March 31st until April 30th. The ship then headed to Yeosu, South Korea, where it arrived on May 6th for cargo operations. It left towards Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, where it moored on May 15th.
The ATSB’s continuing investigation will examine weather and flood conditions prior to and during the breakaway and grounding, the effectiveness of the port procedures, operational guidance and inter-agency communications during a flood event, and the mooring arrangements relevant to the incident.
Investigators will also review internal and external shipboard communication systems, analyse relevant human factors, and verify, interpret, and analyse recorded data.
2008-built, Hong Kong-flagged, 29,593 gt CSC Friendship is owned by Fu Ning Marine Pte Ltd care of manager Nanjing Tanker Corp of Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. It is entered with North of England on behalf of Fu Ning Marine Pte Ltd.