>Austrailia Releases its Report of Investigation into Rupture of Submarine Gas Pipeline by a Container Ship

>The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into the rupture of a submarine gas pipeline by a container ship in Port Phillip, Victoria on 13 December 2008. The vessel was brought into the Melbourne anchorage under pilotage. The anchor was let go with the vessel approximately 0.6 miles upwind of the location of the submerged pipeline. The wind was from the south-southwest at 35 knots, with gusts up to 48 knots. The pilot departed. Within 20 minutes, the master observed that the anchor was dragging the vessel toward the pipeline. He called Melbourne harbor control seeking permission to move the ship. Harbor control directed him to wait until a pilot arrived. After another 20 minutes, harbor control authorized the master to get the vessel underway while the pilot was still en route. The master began the process of weighing anchor. The anchor snagged the pipeline and the windlass motor failed. When the pilot boarded the vessel, the master advised that the anchor would have to be released. The pilot and harbor control decided that a better course of action would be to move the vessel south, dragging the anchor away from the pipeline. When that evolution was commenced, the pipeline burst. MO-2008-012 (Summary courtesy of Bryant’s Maritime Blog).