Tug "Nautilus III", capsize and sinking, Auckland Harbour, 9 March 2001
Occurrence Date
Report Publication Date
Legacy Inquiry Number
On Friday 9 March 2001, at about 0725, the tug "Nautilus III" was towing the laden hopper barge H7 in Auckland Harbour when the barge took a sheer to starboard. The tug skipper manoeuvred the tug in an attempt to arrest the sheer but the tug was girted, capsized, and sank. The skipper of the tug swam clear and was not injured.

The main factors contributing to the accident were the short length of the towline in use, the set-up of the towline and the compromise of the watertight integrity of the tug.

Safety issues identified included:

• the safe ship management manual operating procedures
• poor communication between all parties involved
• the unplanned approach to short towing operations.

Safety recommendations were made to the owners of the "Nautilus III" and "H7" to address the safety issues.
Auckland (-36.839584,174.784455) [may be approximate]