MV Straitsman (1972)

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The Straitsman was a Bass Strait 720-ton roll-on/roll-off ferry livestock carrier which capsized and sank in the Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia, on 23 March 1974 while approaching her berth with her vehicle door partly open, with the loss of two crew members and many of her cargo of 2,000 sheep.[1][2] The ferry was heading upstream at 6 knots (7 mph; 11 km/hr) when a crew member opened the stern door without the knowledge of the captain on the bridge.[3]



  1. ^ "Four-hour ordeal in sunken ship". The Times (59047). London. 25 March 1974. col A-C, p. 7.
  2. ^ Transactions - North East Coast Institution of Engineers . North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders - 1989 "It may also be useful to recall the several ro-ro losses before that date, and especially the little-known precedent of the Straitsman, a ro-ro ferry which capsized and sank whilst approaching its berth with its vehicle door at least partly open."
  3. ^ Oceanic Abstracts 1990- Issues 3-4 - Page 143 ... the Straitsman, a Bass Strait Ro-Ro ferry, suffered a similar fate whilst proceeding stem first towards her berth in the Yarrow river with the stem door open.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pollard, Neil (2007). Straitsman: Lifeline to an Island. Caulfield South, Vic.: Nautical Association of Australia. ISBN 9780959907988.