Monday, February 14, 2000
"small structural failure or leak"
Meanwhile RINA has conducted a full audit of Panship, the managers of the Erika, and has recommended that the Maltese and Italian administrations cancel Panship's ISM compliance certificates
RINA has instituted a full audit of all similar ships in its fleet and of its procedures to identify any actions that need to be taken to improve safety
RINA says it has co-operated fully with the French government investigation into the incident, and will continue to do so. RINA, however, feels the French inquiry "has been too quick in expressing opinions as to the parties involved" and more investigation is required to identify possible causes of the initial hull failure
RINA says its investigations prove that the calculated residual strength of the vessel at the time of the casualty should have been sufficient to withstand normal operation of the vessel in the prevailing weather. The residual strength was within IACS limits.
Initial investigations show that the hull structure initially failed at some point low in the hull, and that complete failure occurred only after cracks had propagated from that source.
RINA is continue its investigations to determine the cause of that initial failure and the results of the subsequent actions of the master, owners and other parties involved.
RINA also called for improvements in the exchange of information between classification societies in order to help prevent further incidents of this nature.
Nicola Squassafichi, CEO of RINA, says,the society is "convinced that it has acted correctly" and has "followed all IACS standards and guidelines."
RINA will focus on several potential causes of the initial failure, including:
RINA has appointed Three Quays Marine Service and Studio Tecnico Navale Ansaldo to conduct further independent investigations covering:
Squassafichi is also calling for urgent action to improve communication between classification societies. "Eight sister ships of the Erika class were built, under two different class societies, and have been classed by five different IACS classification societies at some time in their lives. All of these ships have suffered structural problems. Three of them, other than the Erika, were serious. No information on this history of problems was available to RINA," he says.
RINA believes that IMO and IACS should now act to: