Australia Releases Final Report on M/V Tycoon Grounding

The M/V Tycoon prior to breaking free from its mooring at Christmas Island. Photo credit: ATSB
The M/V Tycoon prior to breaking free from its mooring at Christmas Island. Photo credit: ATSB

A broken shackle on the port’s cantilever mooring line lead to the January 2012 grounding and eventual catastrophic hull failure of the M/V Tycoon at Australia’s Christmas Island, an investitagation by Australian Transport Safety Authority has found.

On January 8, 2012, the M/V Tycoon, a Panama-flagged general cargo ship, broke free from its mooring in severe weather and ran aground along the jagged cliffs of Christmas Island’s Flying Fish Cove. The crew safely abandoned ship, but a day later the M/V Tycoon broke up against the rocks, spilling some 260 tonnes of bagged phosphate into the sea.

The ATSB’s final report, released Wednesday, found that the shackle connecting the port’s cantilever mooring line to its anchor chain failed and that Tycoon’s Master did not advise shoreside authorities of his concern over deteriorating conditions or that the cantilever mooring line had come free. The report also noted that Master also did not make proper use of the ship’s main engine or mooring lines to attempt to keep the ship in position after the mooring line came free.

Following the grounding, the M/V Tycoon’s owner, Singapore’s Tycoon Navigation SA, abandoned any attempts to salvage the vessel, forcing the Australian Government to step in and foot the $8.2 million bill for her removal.

The final pieces of the ship were removed in July 2012 by a salvage team from Titan Maritime, the Australian-based arm of Crowely’s Titan Salvage.

The full final investigation report can be downloaded from the ATSB website, HERE.

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