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KMAX Leader. Photo courtesy AMSA

KMAX Leader. Photo courtesy AMSA

Australia Bans Bulk Carrier for One Year Over Safety Violations

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2523
February 22, 2024

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, KMAX Leader, from entering Australian ports for 12 months over severe safety violations and breaches of Australian legislation by the ship’s Master and owner during their time in Gladstone Harbour.

KMAX Leader first came under scrutiny when it reported unidentified engine room vibrations back in October. The ship’s agent had claimed that the mechanical issues would be resolved within 8 to 10 days. However, the repairs were not completed within the stated duration.

The situation escalated as the ship remained immobilized in the Port of Gladstone during cyclone season, posing a significant safety risk. During this period, the Queensland coast was hit by two cyclones.

AMSA issued multiple Direction Notices, asking for a damage survey from the ship’s classification society and requiring the ship to provide information about towage arrangements and an updated repair plan. However, the ship remained noncompliant with these notices, and the owners did not engage with AMSA to resolve the situation.

AMSA Executive Director Operations, Michael Drake, said he is disappointed at the lack of cooperation from the owners of KMAX Leader.

“AMSA expects all ship operators and Masters to engage promptly, transparently and meaningfully,” said Drake. “International standards exist to protect the lives of seafarers, and our precious marine and coastal environments. They are not ‘optional.”

The ban is in effect from 15 February 2024.

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