The SL Curtis Island LNG tugboat.
Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
The SL Curtis Island LNG tugboat. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA111214NTUG

Second tug boat crash reported in four months

A SECOND investigation has been launched by Australia's peak maritime body after another tug boat crash involving Smit Lamnalco.

Last Wednesday there was a collision between three tug boats after the SL Targinnie briefly lost control.

Smit Lamnalco general manager Glenn Wetters said the collision occurred after the 32-metre boat lost control over one thruster during its approach to the berth.

It hit SL Boyne Island and SL Awoonga.

Mr Wetters said the crash did not cause any spills and the damage to the tugs was superficial.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority has launched an investigation into the crash, making it the second probe underway into accidents involving Smit Lamnalco.

An AMSA spokesperson said all three vessels were prohibited from operating after the incident was reported.

AMSA investigators were on site last Thursday to collect evidence, and SL Boyne Island and SL Awoonga were deemed fit for operation.

The SL Targinnie is still under prohibition.

The second incident being investigated happened on June 13 and involved the SL Curtis Island, which collided with a wharf in Gladstone Harbour.

"AMSA's investigation into the (June 13) incident is expected to conclude shortly," the AMSA spokesperson said.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Another crash involving a Smit Lamnalco tug was reported on June 9, 2017, where $500,000 of damage was caused to the SL Kullaroo and two men were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

After an investigation, Maritime Safety Queensland did not take action against the Gladstone company.

Smit Lamnalco received Gladstone Ports Corporation's exclusive towage licence for the Port of Gladstone.

The contract came into effect on January 1 this year.

The company had the previous exclusive towage licence for the Port of Gladstone since 2011. 

In its annual report, GPC said there was a "comprehensive and highly competitive" procurement process.

The contract included an option to extend the term to December 31, 2026.

"The licence with Smit Lamnalco has delivered lower towage tariffs and improve efficiencies for port users, improved standards for workplace health and safety and environmental obligations, and guaranteed the continuation of service levels," the report said.