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Intercargo: Bulker Casualties Claimed 202 Seafarer Lives in Last 10 Years

A total of fifty-three bulk carriers
over 10,000 dwt have been identified as total losses over the past ten years,
according to the latest 
edition of International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners’
(Intercargo) Bulk Carrier Casualty Report.

A staggering 202 crewmembers have lost
their lives as consequence, or on average 20 lives lost per year during the
reporting period from 2008 to 2017.
The highest loss of life has been
attributed to cargo failure (liquefaction), totaling 101 lives lost or 50
pct of the total loss of life resulting from nine casualties.
“Cargo shift and liquefaction continue
to be a great concern for the life of seafarers and the safe carriage of dry
bulk cargoes over this period,”
The most common reported cause of ship
losses has been grounding, accounting for 41.5 pct of total losses, followed by
flooding (15.1 pct) and unknown causes in the cases of six ships that
claimed 61 lives, among them the two casualties in 2017
, Stellar Daisy and Emerald Star.
“In 2017, the tragic losses of M/V
Stellar Daisy, carrying an iron ore cargo, and M/V Emerald Star, with a nickel
ore cargo, raised questions of structural integrity and safety condition of
high-density cargoes carried on board. These two bulk carrier casualties caused
the loss of 32 seafarers, the highest annual loss of lives since 2011,”
 Intercargo said.
In total, in 2017 the Intercargo
database recorded 337 bulk carrier incidents.
In addition, serious concerns arose on
the safe carriage of ammonium nitrate-based fertiliser, following the incident
of the high temperatures in the cargo holds and the release of gases from the
cargo on the 57,000 dwt supramax MV Cheshire in
August 2017.
However, specific legislation on
adequate mandatory safety requirements to avoid recurrence of such incidents is
yet to be developed.
In terms of sizes of bulk carriers that
were designated as total losses, 22 Handysize bulk carriers were lost,
representing 41.5 pct of the total casualties reported, while most cases
happened before 2011. These are followed by 11 Handymaxes, representing 20.8
pct of the total without a clear pattern of improvement through the years.
Supramax suffered 8 ship losses, taking
15.1 pct of the total, with 5 losses related to suspected cargo failure
(liquefaction) and consequential loss of 85 lives.
Capesize suffered 7 ship losses, taking
13.2 pct of the total, followed by Panamax losses, representing 9.4 pct of
the total.
In terms of annual ship losses, after
peaking in 2011, there has been a reduction of ship losses, the
association concluded.
 World Maritime News

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