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Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2018

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– February 2019 –

Although there has been no reported loss of bulk carrier over 10,000 dwt in 2018, INTERCARGO urges all stakeholders to remain vigilant as cargo liquefaction continues to pose a major threat to the life of seafarers.

This edition of the Bulk Carrier Casualty Report covers reported bulk carrier casualties from 2009 to 2018 and provides an analysis on statistics and trends over the last 10 years.  Forty eight (48) bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt have been identified as total losses over this 10 year period. Cargo failure and liquefaction, continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping. There were 9 casualties of suspected cargo failure among the 48, consisted of 6 bulk carriers carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, 2 vessels with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and 1 with bauxite from Malaysia, and there were 101 lives lost associated with those 9 casualties against a total of 188 lives for all the 48 casualties.

Ship operators need to be especially cautious when loading during a wet season, as currently being experienced in certain parts of South East Asia, however it is paramount that the shippers and the local authorities fulfil their obligations as required by the IMSBC Code.

Lessons learnt from past incidents play an important role in determining where additional safety improvement is necessary. The importance of flag States’ timely submission of casualty investigation reports to IMO should be stressed, as a means for identifying the cause of incidents and enabling corrective actions to be taken. The IMO GISIS database showed by end January 2019 that 23 investigation reports of 48 losses had not been submitted to IMO by their flag States. Some details further highlight the issue of slow reporting:

The highest loss of life has been attributed to cargo failure (liquefaction), totalling 101 lives lost from the 9 casualties. Two (2) investigation reports of those 9 cases have not been submitted to IMO.

The most common reported cause of ship losses has been grounding, totalling 19 losses among the 48 cases. Six (6) investigation reports of those 19 cases have not been submitted to IMO.

Six (6) ships lost with unknown causes claimed 61 lives. Five (5) investigation reports of those 6 cases have not been submitted to IMO.

Reported flooding led to losses of 6 ships. No investigation report of those 6 cases has been submitted to IMO.

INTERCARGO stresses the importance of timely submission of the casualty investigation reports to IMO from relevant flag States, as a means of identifying the causes of the incidents and enabling corrective actions.