Investigators release findings on grounding of fishing trawler

by RMS 
.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Maritime Director Tony Middleton today announced the RMS investigation into the grounding of the fishing trawler Challenge at Cronulla on 19 February 2013 has been completed.

'While the owner and all crew declined to be interviewed, there was sufficient evidence to issue $4500 in penalty notices,' Mr Middleton said.

'This included $1500 to the master for negligent navigation for falling asleep while on auto pilot.

'The owner of the vessel received two $1500 penalty notices – for operating a vessel without NSW Certificate of Survey and for operating a vessel with unqualified crew,' Mr Middleton said.

About 1am on 19 February the fishing trawler Challenge ran aground on the shoreline of Shark Island off Cronulla.

The 100 tonne, 23.5 metre, steel hulled vessel registered in Queensland was carrying about 6,000 litres of diesel.

The four crew members were rescued by Water Police after a member of the public dialed 000 to raise the alarm.

The vessel was successfully refloated on the second attempt in the early hours of 21 February.

Sydney Ports led the recovery effort as the combat agency under the NSW State Waters Marine Oil and Chemical Spill Contingency Plan.

Sydney Ports was supported by a number of other agencies including Transport NSW’s Freight and Regional Development team, RMS, NSW Police and local councils.