INTERCARGO slams flag state delays on accident investigation reports

Written by Nick Blenkey
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INTERCARGO (the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners) is warning that there is no room for complacency, even though there has been no reported loss of a bulk carrier in 2018. It is also critical of flag states’ slowness in publishing investigation reports following bulker losses.

The association’s just published Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2018 analyzes reported bulker losses from 2009 to 2018, when 188 lives were lost and 48 bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt were identified as total losses.

Although the ten-year trends in annual average numbers of lives and dry cargo ships lost show positive signs of safety improvement, INTERCARGO says that cargo failure and liquefaction continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping.

In the period covered by the report, nine casualties that saw the loss of 101 seafarers’ lives were believed to be from cargo related failures: six bulk carriers carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, two with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

Lessons learnt from past incidents play an important role in determining the scope of additional safety improvements. INTERCARGO notes that, as of the end of January investigation findings on 23 of the 48 losses covered in the report had still not been submitted to IMO by the relevant flag States, as per information on IMO GISIS database at end January 2019.

Examples of pending investigation reports for submission include:

  • The highest loss of life has been attributed to cargo failure (liquefaction), totaling 101 lives lost from nine casualties. Two investigation reports of thos enine cases have not been submitted to IMO.
  • The most common reported cause of ship losses has been grounding, totaling 19 losses among the 48 cases. Six investigation reports on those 19 cases have not been submitted to IMO.
  • Six ships lost with unknown causes claimed 61 lives. Five investigation reports of those six cases have not been submitted to IMO.
  • Reported flooding led to losses of six ships. No investigation reports on those six cases has been submitted to IMO.

The association says that the recent publication of the Stellar Daisy Casualty Investigation Report by the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator (on April 19, 2019) was much expected by the industry and INTERCARGO had repeatedly urged for its timely submission to IMO, as over two years have passed since the tragic sinking of the Stellar Daisy with the loss of 22 lives.

INTERCARGO’s Bulk Carrier Casualty Report can be accessed HERE

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