Feb 202013
 
Liquefied lateritic nickel ore - the discolouration on the bulkhead tells the story

Liquefied lateritic nickel ore – the discolouration on the bulkhead tells the story. Photo UK P&I Club

While a full investigation will take some time to complete, if it ever is completed and released, the sinking of the Harita Bauxite off Cape Bolinao, North West Luzon, Philippines bear many of the familiar signatures of a liquefaction casualty. Her cargo of 47,450mt nickel ore from Indonesia bound for China, the speed of her sinking and the high level of casualties have characterised the loss of several vessels in the same area over the past few years.

The Panama-registered, 1983-built handymax ship sank on the evening of 17 February after suffering engine failure, and heavy rolling in rough weather. Although ten crew were rescued by a passing ship, 14 crew remain unaccounted for. One fatality has been so far reported. Continue reading »

Share
Jan 182012
 

Vinalines Queen - A "Stark reminde" of risks

Last December’s loss of the supramax bulk carrier Vinalines Queen and 22 of her 23 crew off Northern Luzon in the Philippines is a “a stark reminder of the continuing dangers associated with the carriage of nickel ore” says the London P&I Club, which covered the ship.

On 10 September 2009 another of same company’s vessels, Vinalines Mighty, was forced to return to return to the port of Paradip, India, after loading iron ore fines at the port and developing a list while underway.

Prior to the casualty, last contact with the vessel was whilst on a voyage from Indonesia to China with 54,000 tonnes of ron ore fines.

At 0548 on the morning of 25 December 2011 the master of Vinalines Queen reported a 20 degree list to port with heavy winds and diverted to the Philippines. An hour later the list had reduced to 18 degrees and she was reported to be running to shore.  The master had ordered the crew to the main deck with lifejackets and lifeboats lowered. Continue reading »

Share
May 302011
 
image

A wet stockpile of iron ore

Last year’s loss of three dry bulkers in just 39 days with the loss of 44 lives, many of them Chinese highlighted the confusion, ignorance and deliberate misrepresentation

 

To ship dry bulk cargoes safely it is vital that ship’s masters receive clear, accurate and reliable information on the properties and characteristics of cargoes and the required conditions for safe carriage and handling. This is a SOLAS requirement reinforced in significant detail in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), mandatory since 1 January, 2011. But there is increasing evidence that this is not happening in every case.

The consequences of failing to meet these requirements were seen last year when 44 seafarers lost their lives within 39 days in three casualties: Jian Fu Star (27 October: 13 fatalities); Nasco Diamond (10 November: 21 fatalities) and Hong Wei (3 December: 10 fatalities).

Typical problems experienced by our members include:

Using cargo trade names and not the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name (BCSN);

Confusing cargo identification and correct identification of cargo group – whether a

cargo is a Group A (prone to liquefaction), Group B (representing a chemical hazard)

or Group C (not prone to liquefaction or representing a chemical hazard) – for

example declaring a cargo as a Group C cargo (not prone to liquefaction) but

providing a Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) indicating that the cargo is prone to

liquefaction.

Obtaining accurate and reliable data, particularly moisture content of Group A

cargoes, determined in accordance with IMSBC Code procedures.

Obtaining correct documentation for cargoes not listed in the IMSBC Code. Cargoes

not listed in the Code should be carried under the clear provisions of Section 1.3 of the IMSBC Code, with the competent authority of the port of loading providing the master with a certificate stating the characteristics of the cargo and the required conditions for carriage.

Intercargo believes that these problems stem, in part, from confusion or ignorance concerning the application of the IMSBC Code or in some circumstances malicious misrepresentation.

“If we are to prevent further casualties it is essential that all parties involved in the

transportation of dry bulk cargoes understand and implement the provision of the IMSBC Code, most crucially providing accurate and reliable cargo declarations” says Ian Harrison, Intercargo technical manager.

Issues raised at MSC 89

It is in this context that Intercargo welcomed a proposal from China submitted to the 89th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held 11-20 May, in response to the loss of Chinese seafarers in last year’s three casualties. Intercargo submitted a paper, co-sponsored by BIMCO supporting the main proposals in particular: developing a scheme for ensuring reliable independent sampling, testing and certification of cargoes; and enhancing education for ship and shore personnel involved with the shipment of dry bulk cargoes with an emphasis on accurate cargo declarations to ensure only ‘safe’ cargo is loaded.

The MSC agreed to forward these papers for further consideration of the proposals to the Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) that will meet in September 2011.

Intercargo also supported a proposal at MSC 89 to allow more time for the on-going

development and updating of the IMSBC Code through the use of an Editorial and Technical group. The Committee agreed to modify the existing E&T group’s terms of reference (considering IMDG Code amendments) to include consideration of the IMSBC Code amendments.

“We welcome the commitment to safety shown by IMO in dedicating more time to IMSBC Code amendments and the widespread support of member states to consider the development of independent sampling, testing and certification for dry bulk cargoes” added Intercargo technical manager, Ian Harrison.

Share
Feb 252011
 

StopLoss the London P&I Club’s loss prevention publication is available now in both English and Mandarin. Both versions can be downloaded by clicking here.

Also, spoken versions of StopLoss, again in both English and Mandarin, will very shortly be available as podcasts on Shippingpodcasts.com

Listeners can subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes and can also receive notice of postings on Twitter by following http://twitter.com/jtweed Continue reading »

Share
Feb 212011
 

Iro ore not so fines

Liquefaction of nickel and iron ores due to excess moisture continues to cost lives. One solution would be for Chinese importers to exercise their influence over their suppliers with a bit more vigour says the UK P&I Club, which has published a pocket-sized brochure to act as an aide-memoire when loading such cargoes.

Marine insurers are determined to keep the subject of dangerous bulk cargoes, and in particular nickel ores and iron ore fines, high on the Loss Prevention agenda. The UK Club’s latest initiative is an aide-mémoire for shipowners and shipmanagers in the form of a pocket leaflet that can be kept handy when a vessel is chartered to load such a cargo.
Continue reading »

Share
Dec 162010
 

image North of English P&I Club, Nepia, has issued and alert regarding post-monsoon loading iron ore cargoes in India. Liquefaction of cargo is, unfortunately a common cause of ships foundering.

Warns Nepia: “The risks of loss of life, damage to the environment and loss of property are only too apparent, but if a Member fails to comply with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code and / or local regulations they should also be aware that they might be prejudicing Club cover. All of the Group Clubs have similar Rules which in essence exclude cover for liabilities, costs and expenses arising from unsafe or unduly hazardous trades or voyages.

Among the problems encountered are:

Continue reading »

Share
Dec 062010
 
image

Ores can liquefy and capsize vessel. Can tests can help photo: Skuld P&I Club

Forty four lost lives in just thirty nine days from three vessel carrying the same cargo is unacceptable, says dry bulk carrier organisation Intercargo, which is calling for an urgent review of testing and safety processes involved in shipping iron and nickel ore following a spate of accidents and fatalities since October.

Iron and nickel ores can liquefy if too much moisture is present. Stockpiles exposed to seasonal rains may appear ‘dry’ but still contain sufficient moisture for cargoes resulting in a slurry that can produce a free-surface effect which can make a vessel unstable and cause a capsize so rapid there is little or no time for distress signals to be sent.

Intertanko has called on shippers and cargo interests to “conduct an urgent review into the testing and safety processes involved in shipping the cargo” from a number of countries including India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Continue reading »

Share
Dec 052010
 
image

A wet stockpile of iron ore

Almost half the crew of the Panamanian-flagged bulker Hong Wei remain missing after the vessel sank in rough weather between Taiwan and the Philippines in an incident which highlights the dangers of high moisture content mineral ore fines. Hong Wei was carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to Dalian port in northeastern China.

It is the second ship in less than a month to come to grief carrying a similar cargo. On 11 November Nasco Diamond sank off the southern coast of Japan with the loss of 21 crewmembers’ lives.

West of England P&I Club has issued a warning to its members regarding carriage of nickel ore.

Continue reading »

Share
Jul 252010
 

imageAs the Indian monsoon season starts, the shipping industry once again faces the practical
challenges associated with the export of iron ore fines from Indian ports, says the London P&I Club in its latest Stoploss Bulletin. New guidelines from the Indian government, however, may take the pressure off of shippers to provide certification that a cargo is safe.

Liquefaction of iron ore fines was implicated in the sinking of MV Black Rose in September 2009 with the death of the ship’s chief engineer as he desperately tried to save the vessel. MV Asian Forest, which sank in July 2009 off Mangalore and remains off the Indian coast, was another victim of the same phenomenon. Continue reading »

Share