Investigation finds unintended risks with ECDIS navigation

Roebuck Bay grounded on Henry Reef

On 27 June the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation of the grounding of the Australian Border Force Cutter (ABFC) Roebuck Bay on Henry Reef, Queensland, on 30 September 2017. This document has revealed underlying safety issues with the effectiveness of ECDIS type-specific training, ECDIS software updates and the use of a single point feature to represent relatively large physical features on electronic navigational charts.

Roebuck Bay‘s electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) identified the reef as a danger to the planned route, however, the crew did not identify the danger either visually or by using ECDIS. The vessel continued on the amended route and grounded on Henry Reef just after midnight. There were no reported injuries or oil pollution, but the vessel sustained substantial damage.