Engine problems, machinery and technical failures top the list of incidents in this year’s bulk carrier casualty and incidents report from dry cargo shipowners’ alliance Intercargo.
The report lists 75 incidents categorised as ‘machinery and technical’ and another 73 categorised as ‘main engine’ in its analysis of 337 incidents affecting bulk carriers in 2017.
The same two categories topped the list for incidents in 2016; however, numbers in both categories were up significantly in 2017. Machinery and technical incidents were up by 19% and main engine incidents, by 14%.
Intercargo operations manager Xianyong Zhou told this publication that his group was looking into the recent increase but that “closer monitoring” would be needed to determine whether the annual figures were more than a statistical anomaly.
Mr Xianyong said Intercargo could not yet recommend actions for shipowners to try to prevent the types of incidents listed in the report, “as it will need quite [some] amount of time to carefully review and analyse the many incidents before practical and effective recommendations are developed.”
The report has been submitted to IMO for consideration by member states, consultative groups and others, and a statement from Intercargo called for other industries to assist in determining new safety measures for the dry bulk trade.
“Following the example of IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) and its Common [Structural] Rules, the bulk carrier industry would wholeheartedly welcome initiatives and safety measures from other industries,” the statement said.
Intercargo said it would also work with its stakeholders on crew training, equipment design and manufacturing and shipbuilding while exploring joint projects to introduce and implement appropriate safety measures.
Charting trends in both bulk carrier vessels and lives lost at sea, the report used 10-year averages to show that, on aggregate, casualties and incidents have declined over time.
Between 1994-2003, more than 10 ships and more than 50 lives were lost each year, on average, while during the decade between 2008-2017, an average of 20 lives and 5 ships were lost annually.
The full report can be found here.