AMSA, tug assists cargo vessel north-west of Broome, WA

Wednesday 27 February 2013
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and a commercial tug, the Far Scimitar, are assisting a cargo vessel at risk of rolling over in rough conditions north-west of Broome, Western Australia.
Media Release

The Master of the Mellum Trader requested AMSA’s assistance on Tuesday evening, reporting the vessel had a list (a tilt) of around 35 degrees.

The vessel altered its course away from the coast later that evening, using the movement of the ocean to reduce the list to 15 degrees.

The Far Scimitar has been travelling alongside the vessel for more than 16 hours, standing by should assistance be required.

AMSA is working with the Mellum Trader’s owners on a plan for its safe passage to Broome.

On Tuesday evening, AMSA tasked a surveillance aircraft from Broome to locate the vessel 190nm north-west of Broome and diverted the Far Scimitar to attend the area.

AMSA’s Darwin-based Dornier has now been relocated to Broome should its assistance be required.

It is believed that a shift in cargo caused the vessel to tilt, but it is unknown at this stage as to why this shift occurred.

The Mellum Trader has 13 people on board and is carrying oil well development casings. The weather conditions include strong winds and rough seas.

Another update will be issued when more information is available.