44 deaths in 39 days – The Unanswered Questions and why seafarers should not be expendable.

 Accident, capsize, maritime safety news, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on 44 deaths in 39 days – The Unanswered Questions and why seafarers should not be expendable.
Dec 062010
 
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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 »

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