Tug "Mahia", near capsize, parted towline and manoverboard, Auckland Harbour, 5 July 2000
Occurrence Date
Report Publication Date
Legacy Inquiry Number
On Wednesday 5 July 2000 at about 0900, the bulk carrier "Dorthe Oldendorff" departed from Chelsea Wharf in Auckland Harbour. The ship was under pilotage and its unberthing was assisted by 2 tugs: one port company tug and one contract tug. The ship was let go from the wharf and turned around into the channel in readiness to transit the harbour. While the skipper of the contract tug, "Mahia", was preparing to let go, weight came on the towline causing the tug to heel heavily. The towline parted and the "Mahia" rapidly righted itself, throwing the deckhand overboard.

Safety issues identified included:

• poor communication between the bridge team and the crew at mooring stations
• insufficient communication between the tug skipper and the pilot
• loss of situational awareness by the bridge team
• inability to quickly release the towline from the tug.

Safety recommendations were made to the Director of Maritime Safety with regard to the quick release of towlines.
Auckland (-36.823328,174.733343) [may be approximate]