Dry bulk shipping organization INTERCARGO has said that it supports the recent announcement by the IMO of its determination to improve the number of accident investigation reports that are submitted to the IMO, saying it is well known that the lessons learnt, contained within these reports, were a key driver of safety improvement.
The slowness of some submissions of accident reports has been a bone of contention for some years, with some flags accused of being somewhat lax in their investigations.
Between 2009 and 2018 there were 188 lives lost as a result of 48 bulk carrier losses, However, investigation reports were only made available on the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) for 27 of these casualties> On top of that, the average reporting time was 34 months.
A year ago Intercargo noted that cargo liquefaction continued to be a major risk for dry bulk shipping. The Association said that it would like to stress once again the importance of investigating an incident and the subsequent publication of a quality and in-depth casualty investigation report in a timely manner, in order for lessons to be learnt. It has urged all relevant administrations to investigate incidents and publish the reports.
“It is unacceptable that the tragedy continues in this modern age, as shown by the loss of bulk carrier NUR ALLYA (laden with Indonesian Nickel Ore) with 25 crew onboard in August 2019”, the association said.
Flag States are required under SOLAS and MARPOL to conduct casualty investigations and supply the IMO with any relevant findings. Additionally, for very serious casualties (defined as casualties which involve total loss of the ship, loss of life, or severe pollution) the IMO requests that the full investigation report is submitted to the IMO.
INTERCARGO said that it welcomed the IMO’s commitment to improve casualty investigation reporting and is hopeful that the flag States fulfil their obligations so that safety improvements can