INTERCARGO notes that liquefaction remains greatest contributor to deaths in dry bulk sector

Cargo liquefaction remained the greatest contributor to loss of life associated with bulk carrier losses while grounding remains the main cause of ship losses, according to the recently published Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2013-2022 from trade association INTERCARGO.

The document was submitted to the International Maritime Organization in May, ahead of the 9th session of its Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III). The Sub-Committee is taking place from 31st July to 4th August. It has a key role in casualty analysis and issuing lessons learned from marine incidents.

The INTERCARGO Casualty Report provides 10-year information on bulk carrier casualty statistics, looking at trends in casualties in terms of both loss of life and loss of ships, drilling down into the size and age of vessels as well as Flag State performance.

The report showed a clear trend of improved safety and declining ship losses at a time of fleet growth, but it also showed that major incidents involving loss of life were still occurring.

Operations Manager Xianyong (Joe) Zhou, says: “As the voice of global dry bulk shipping, INTERCARGO is determined to help lead the response to these events. While the Report highlights that improvements are being made in safety, there is still clearly more to do to make shipping safer. We must continue to learn how we can best protect the lives of seafarers as well as the vessels and their cargo from damage and loss.”

Between 2013 and 2022, 26 bulk carriers of more than 10,000 dwt were reported lost, with 104 seafarers’ lives lost.

In 2022 two bulk carriers were lost, one due to a collision and the other from losing power and sinking in rough seas, with a loss of 12 seafarers.

Four of the five bulk carrier casualties, which led to the loss of 70 lives, occurred as a result of cargo liquefaction; four were loaded with nickel ore and one with bauxite.

In terms of ship losses, grounding was the most common reported cause between 2013 and 2022, accounting for 12 bulk carriers lost (46.2%), with various other causes including problems with machinery and equipment.