Restricted limit passenger vessel, "Southern Winds," grounding, Charles Sound, 14 October 2004
Occurrence Date
Report Publication Date
Legacy Inquiry Number
The Department of Conservation vessel "Southern Winds" was working in the Fiordland area, with a master and 7 passengers on board. On completion of fieldwork on Thursday 14 October 2005, the boat was anchored close to Lloyd Island, in inner Gold Arm, Charles Sound. During the evening the wind freshened and the boat was unable to maintain its anchorage. The master unsuccessfully re-set the anchor 3 times before he decided to move to the outer sound. As the boat passed between Catherine and Fanny Islands it grounded heavily on a rock. The master took all way off the vessel and was able to navigate into clear water where the damage was assessed. It was found that the hull was split and water was entering a small compartment behind the collision bulkhead. The ingress of water was controlled.

At first light the following morning repair personnel and equipment were flown into the area by helicopter. After temporary repairs had been made the boat sailed to Doubtful Sound and then to Bluff, where full repairs were completed.

Safety issues identified included:
- anchoring equipment
- navigation in confined waters without full up to date nautical information being available
- crewing arrangements
- communications in remote areas
- risk management of the boat's operation

Safety recommendations were made to the Director of Maritime Safety, the Shipping Product Manager of SGS New Zealand and the Department of Conservation to address these issues.
Related Safety Recommendation(s)
Charles Sound, Fiordland (-45.130620,167.139966) [may be approximate]