News

Coronial inquest into why tugboat sank, killed captain

The tugboat Adonis, that sank killing its captain, is refloated.
The tugboat Adonis, that sank killing its captain, is refloated. Chrissy Harris

THE tugboat Adonis sank in Gladstone harbour and the question why is key to a coronial inquest being held into the death of Dudley Jacobs that started yesterday in Gladstone.

The captains of the two tugs involved in the tragedy have given conflicting evidence on speed or if one told the other to slow down.

Capt Jacobs, 64, a experienced skipper and Gladstone marine pilot, drowned in the capsize near the mouth of the Calliope River on June 11, 2011 when the Adonis and a second Sea Swift tugboat, Wolli, (contracted to Bechtel) had a water barge under tow.

RELATED:

>> Date set for inquest into tugboat skipper death

>> Union to launch petition calling for inquest into boat death

>> Bureau releases report on Gladstone tug rollover death

In evidence before the Coroner, David O'Connell, the issue of girding was raised where the under-tow barge began overtaking the Adonis causing the tow line to be pulled at 90 degrees just prior to Adonis being pulled over and sinking.

A safety hook mechanism to allow the tow line cable to be dropped if there was a problem had been in the locked position and not released.

Maritime Safety senior investigator Kevin Schinder said a Marine Execution Plan (MEP) was done that specifically outlined what each vessel was meant to be doing.

Anthony Phipps was the master of the tug Wolli at the time of the accident.
Anthony Phipps was the master of the tug Wolli at the time of the accident. Ross Irby

This was not adhered to and instead a line was put over the stern of the Adonis.

Mr Schinder said Capt Jacobs was there to observe Wolli captain Anthony 'Tony' Phipps but had been on Adonis at the time.

Adonis skipper Sean Beardon, said the tug had "quite a tendency" to lean over more than other boats because of its narrow beam.

He said the harbour master had required two tugs in case anything happened to one tug so as to avoid damaging the Clinton wharves.

Mr Beardon said they were travelling at six knots (speed over ground) and he called Mr Phipps three times on UHF radio telling him to slow down but he did not.

He said the Wolli had control of the speed they did.

Mr Beardon said as the barge (on a short tow of 41m) began to come alongside the Ad

Sean Beardon, who was aboard the ill-fated Adonis when it sank, leaves the Gladstone Courthouse after giving his witness summary at the inquest.
Sean Beardon, who was aboard the ill-fated Adonis when it sank, leaves the Gladstone Courthouse after giving his witness summary at the inquest. Ross Irby

onis he had no steering before colliding with the port side of the Wolli and capsizing.

He said Mr Jacobs had been on his ill-fated tug instead of the Wolli because he and Mr Phipps had not been getting on - "Tony was butting heads with Dudley".

Mr Phipps said speed was "not an issue", saying he had not received any calls to slow.

He said Adonis was on "a slack line" when he saw it keep going toward port. He said he had reduced his engine revs.

Topics:  coronial inquest inquest investigation tugboat



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

PHOTOS: Gladstone's hottest models to fight for $50K prize chance

The MAXIM swim wear model search will be at Tannum Sands on Saturday.

HUGE BRAND name coming to Gladstone to pick and choose our best.

Gladstone's 10 worst streets for violent attacks revealed

VIOLENT ATTACK: Police have been called to a staggering 225 assaults in the past year.

ONE CROWDED street is by far the most dangerous.

Popular business man deeply regrets selling his name

Len Smith is now enjoying retirement after years of running the business.

WELL-KNOWN Gladstone man regrets selling his name with his business.

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

PHOTOS: Gladstone's hottest models to fight for $50K prize chance

The MAXIM swim wear model search will be at Tannum Sands on Saturday.

HUGE BRAND name coming to Gladstone to pick and choose our best.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Gladstone's 20 cheapest properties on the market, all under $150K

DIRT CHEAP: 5/239 Sun Valley Rd, Kin Kora is selling for $140,000

PROPERTY sellers drop prices as houses and units sell for bargains.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!