The Australian Port State Control campaign targets the watertight and weathertight integrity of ships Ship’s crew

According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), recently released ship inspection data has revealed ongoing and worrying problems with the watertightness and weatherproofing of ships in Australian ports.

Data compiled by AMSA showed that these issues accounted for 9% of detectable deficiencies in 2021.

To combat this problem, AMSA has published new resources and information on its website, including guidance on regular inspections and the importance of including waterproof and weatherproof components in maintenance schedules. The AMSA will also conduct ongoing watertight and weathertight integrity inspections during routine port state control in 2022-23.

dr Michelle Grech, AMSA Manager Vessel Operations, stressed the importance of routine checks and planned maintenance for all watertight and weathertight components, stating that ship’s captains and crew should know which elements of their ship are designed to be watertight or weathertight according to the relevant international conventions.

“AMSA takes an insight-driven and risk-based approach to compliance,” said Dr. Grech. “As our data increasingly reveals identifiable deficiencies in watertight and weatherproof integrity, we are reminding all vessels entering Australian waters to find it, repair it and keep your vessel watertight.”

Grech also warned that the risk of being spotted and arrested by AMSA or being banned from Australian ports for serious breaches of these international conventions is very real and comes at a significant financial and reputational cost to operators. She gave an example of an operator paying A$600,000 in port fees alone in just two months following a recent arrest.

“The price of conducting proper maintenance is far less than the potential cost of imprisonment or banning, and it’s definitely worth avoiding the potential consequences, including injury, death, dry dock, labor costs, or even environmental damage lawsuits.” , added Grech .

AMSA’s release of the data and guidance underscores the continuing need for regular maintenance and inspections to ensure the safety and integrity of ships in Australian waters and comes amid a crackdown on underperforming operators in the shipping industry.

Shipowners, operators, captains and crew can find more Information on the AMSA website.

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