Australia continues to crack down on unsafe ships Ship’s crew

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has taken further action against ship operators who fail to meet safety standards by imposing a 90-day ban on the Antigua Barbuda-flagged general cargo vessel BBC Weser from Australian waters.

The decision to ban the ship was taken after an inspection found it to be in an “unsafe and unseaworthy” condition and posed an unacceptable risk to Australia’s marine and coastal environment. This is the second ship to be banned by AMSA in a week, following the 90-day ban imposed on the ship They asked for wisdom due to numerous defects, including a defective lifeboat engine

The BBC Weser was arrested by the AMSA in May 2023 after inspectors discovered a significant number of defective ballast vents on board. These vents are essential safety components, preventing water from entering the ship while allowing air to escape, preventing dangerous underpressures from developing in the tanks.

The ship’s operator, Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co., has a track record of poor performance, with one in five of its ships being detained in Australia since May 2021. This detention rate is more than three times the average for ships calling at Australian waters.

AMSA had already twice warned Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co about the company’s poor performance and the possible consequences of further arrests or stricter compliance and enforcement measures. Previous arrests stemmed from failed emergency power generators and unsafe work platforms which resulted in a crew member suffering life-threatening injuries while working on one of their vessels.

Michael Drake, executive director of operations at AMSA, said that the ban on the BBC Weser sends a clear message to the operator and the shipping industry at large that substandard vessels will not be tolerated in Australian waters.

“The flaws in the BBC Weser are of particular concern as these are observable deficiencies which would have been obvious to anyone on board and the operator could not have pleaded ignorance,” said Drake. “AMSA has a world-class reputation as a strict but fair safety agency and we strive to meet international standards for maritime safety.”

“Substandard ships and their operators have been warned,” concluded Drake.

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