NSW Australia Investigation Finds Military RIB Needed a Propeller Guard

An NSW Transport Roads and Maritime accident investigation report dated February 2, 2012, “Report of a Special Purpose Investigation: Into a Propeller Strike Injury Involving an Australian Defence Force Academy Vessel on Lake Burrinjuck NSW on 14 February 2010”, found a group of Cadets and Midshipmen were undertaking training for water insertions (leave the RIB while underway) on Lake Burrinjuck NSW. After the training, the Cadets took the 6.3 meter RIB powered by a 115 HP Yamaha outboard for a joyride including high speed turns during which several people were ejected. In one of those incidents, a Cadet fell from the boat and sustained life threatening injuries from the propeller.

NSW Propeller Accident Investigation Report

NSW Propeller Accident Investigation Report

The investigation found:

  • The Defence literature provides sufficient guidance to conclude that a propeller guard should have been fitted unless there were compelling operating reasons not to do so.
  • There is no evidence of any compelling operational reasons for not fitting a propeller guard.
  • There is no evidence that the vessel was previously fitted with a propeller guard.
  • The risk assessment for water insertions did not adequately consider the likelihood and consequences of a propeller strike.
  • There was no assessment for joyriding.

While the report does not identify the injured Cadet, it is obviously Oliver Minchin. This was a very high profile accident in Australia. Senate Leader Nick Minchin is Oliver Minchin’s father. The accident and Oliver’s recovery were prominently covered in the news.

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