Australia Bans Ship Over Navigation Deficiencies

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned Philippines-flagged general cargo ship Thorco Luna from any Australian port for three months after it was detained for a third time this year for failing to meet international standards.

The ship was released from its latest detention at Port Kembla on June 8th.

AMSA inspected the ship five times between November 2017 and June 2018. On three of these occasions the ship was detained and issued with 34 deficiencies. The ship’s average deficiency rate is 6.8 deficiencies per inspection, compared with an industry average of 2.3.

AMSA found that the most serious deficiencies resulted from officers and crew being unfamiliar with the operation of critical shipboard equipment and procedures for navigation and fire safety, contravening obligations under chapter XI-1 of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). In one case, the ship’s navigating officers had planned to transit a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot and were unfamiliar with the operation of the electronic navigation systems upon which they relied. AMSA said that it also had concerns with safe systems of work and the operation of critical shipboard equipment for fire-fighting, navigation and alarms.