TasPorts initiate legal proceedings against owner of cement vessel Goliath over sunken tugboats in Devonport

TasPorts is suing the owners of the cement vessel that collided with two tugs in northwest Tasmania.

Most important points:

The Port Authority of Tasmania hopes to settle with the owner of a cement ship that crashed into two tugs in January. TasPorts says the crash caused millions of dollars in damage to the tugs and Devonport harbor.

The cement vessel Goliath collided with two stationary tugs in the River Mersey in Devonport harbor in January, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Both tugs sank.

TasPorts has initiated legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the owner of Goliath, CSL Australia.

TasPorts chief executive Anthony Donald said the port authority would try to reach an “acceptable settlement” with the company in short to medium term.

“It is not the intention of TasPorts to pursue proceedings unless and until it is necessary to do so, but we believe that initiating proceedings is a sensible step to protect our rights,” he said.

Tugs York Cove and Campbell Cove sank after cement vessel Goliath collided with them. (Supplied: ATSB)

TasPorts is still in talks with the company about a financial settlement.

Earlier this month, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released a preliminary report of the ongoing investigation into the crash involving the two TasPorts tugs, York Cove and Campbell Cove.

It found that an incorrect steering setting had been selected on the cement carrier, and the vessel’s speed increased by more than three knots as it navigated a sharp bend in the River Mersey.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s investigation into the crash continues. (ABC News: Monte Bovill)

Goliath was on a routine voyage from Melbourne with 17 crew on board when the ship’s captain found it “did not lurch as expected” as it maneuvered a tight bend in the River Mersey.


In a dramatic few seconds, the captain attempted to stop the ship from moving forward by changing the steering setting while being informed of the “rapidly decreasing clearances” between the boat and the tugs.

The tugs together had 69,000 liters of diesel and other oil on board.

Although much of the oil and diesel was contained, people and their pets were asked to stay out of the water between Devonport and Latrobe.

A cormorant was affected by the oil spill resulting from the crash. (ABC News: Monte Bovill)

The cleanup continues.

“At this point, the completion of the cleanup operation remains the focus of TasPorts,” said Mr. Donald.

“And we will continue to do everything we can to minimize disruption to port users and other stakeholders.”

Salvage continues

The salvage operation to remove the sunken tugs from the river, described as one of the most complex undertaken in Australia in recent years, continues.

Specialized salvage divers were deployed to explore the wrecks.

Ships from the mainland are expected to arrive within a week to assist with removing the wrecks.

The two tugs are expected to be removed from the River Mersey by the end of the month. (Provided: Peter Briggs)

Both tugs are expected to be lifted from the river by crane by the end of this month and transported to Bell Bay.

The incident also caused extensive damage to the pier.

No crew members were on board the tugs, and no one was injured.

The investigation is underway.

CSL Australia has been contacted for comment.

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Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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