The INTERCARGO Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2023 provides an analysis of casualty statistics covering the past 10 years from 2013 to 2022, during which it was reported that twenty-six (26) bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt were lost with a loss of life of 104 seafarers. Cargo liquefaction remains the greatest contributor to loss of life and grounding remains the greatest cause of ship losses.
Four of the five bulk carrier casualties which occurred as a result of cargo liquefaction, were loaded with nickel ore and one with bauxite. They led to the loss of 70 seafarers’ lives (63.7% of the overall total) and accounted for 19.2% of all the vessel casualties over this time period. Amendments 06-21 of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code were developed in order to provide more accurate cargo information and will come into force on December 1, 2023. The amendments include the term ‘dynamic separation’ in addition to liquefaction. This is expected to safeguard against moisture related cargo failure mechanisms, which can cause cargo and ultimately vessel instability.
Grounding was the most common reported cause of ship losses between 2013 and 2022, accounting for 12 bulk carriers lost (46.2%). Reports, where available, indicate that there were various causes for these casualties. Some incidents include complications with onboard machinery and equipment as possible causes.