A cargo ship is a commercially operated ship which is designed for varied purposes categorized as container ships, multipurpose ships, bulk load carrier and tankers etc. The ships are expected and bound to follow the international maritime guidelines and standards to operate. These international safety norms include construction standard, equipment and day to day operations of the ship. These norms are formed and directed by maritime authorities and internationally accepted. It is strictly expected that all ships follow the guidelines for smooth sailing and entry to any port. Ship safety requirements for all cargo ships vary depending on the ship’s size and capacity and operational requirements.
An Indonesian general cargo ship has recently been banned from entering any port in the Australian soil for the next three months until December 16, 2015 by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The ship was detained at Port Alma, a strategic port operated by the Gladstone Ports Corporation. This direction has been issued after being detained for non compliance reasons four times from August 2013.
For the fourth time Ship ‘Noah Satu’ the cargo service ship has breached Australian rules and regulations since August 2013. The owner of the vessel is PT Anugerah Samudra Indomakur and PT Adnyana is responsible for operating the vessel. Both the companies are Indonesia-based. The port authorities describe this as “serious and repetitive failings” in operations and maintenance to ensure safety of life at sea convention and international convention for prevention of pollution from ships. AMSA imposed the ban in relation to failures with safety and emission regulations and vessel compliance standard. Detailed inspection revealed that the ship’s safety management system has been inadequate to comply with the mandatory rules and also failed to ensure the ships capability in responding to emergency situations. Apart from this other breaches and deficiencies found were:
- Incorrect or faulty navigational charts
- Poor record keeping of hours of work and rest for crew etc
- Expired or unmaintained safety equipment which may pose serious threat.
- Inadequate food on the vessel
- Improper passage planning on the vessel
- Incorrect procedure of oil and garbage handling.
- Failing to undertake enclosed space entry drills
- Unapproved machinery configuration
Australia maritime safety authority has laid and follows the highest standards of vessel vetting. Following the safety regulations it is very uncommon for ships entering Australian waters be banned. But Noah Satu is one of the fifth vessel ever been banned. AMSA considers any breaches of international shipping standards seriously and bans entry of any vessel in its water that fails to comply with Australian Maritime standards. It was also noted that the operators of Noah Satu failed the mandatory reporting requirements while crossing through the area of the Great Barrier Reef. The two Indonesian companies will face penalties for the breaches.
Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Craig Doyle states that it is quite uncommon for vessels entering Australian shores to be banned. As Australia has one of the highest standards of vessel vetting standards and sea farers are aware of it therefore it doesn’t happen often.