The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has taken strict enforcement action against Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co for safety violations, issuing a 90-day ban to the Antigua & Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship, BBC Jade.
This marks the third ban issued by AMSA to a Briese Heavylift vessel this year.
During an inspection in Port Alma, AMSA inspectors discovered that 57 tons of explosive substances had been improperly stowed on board the BBC Jade during transit. This marked a breach of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which sets international standards for the safe transportation of dangerous goods.
Earlier this year, AMSA banned the BBC Weser for 90 days due to unsafe and unseaworthy conditions, and the BBC Pearl for 180 days for multiple failures of its safety management system.
In a statement, Acting AMSA Executive Director of Operations Evan Boyle said that this latest breach, combined with the ongoing poor performance of the operator, necessitated the ban.
“Seafarers, and the Australian community, should feel confident that explosive substances are transported safely,” said Boyle. “Australian companies which are shipping dangerous cargos such as explosives to Australia may wish to exercise further diligence in whose vessels they engage to carry them.”
Boyle also urged Australian companies shipping dangerous cargos to exercise diligence in selecting vessels for transportation, highlighting the seriousness of maritime safety and environmental concerns surrounding such violations.
“We take our role as a regulator seriously, and we expect operators to take their obligations seriously, as well. We will not hesitate to take tough enforcement action to keep our seas, and seafarers, safe,” he said.
In addition to the AMSA findings, Antigua & Barbuda Flag State Control also identified further safety violations on board the BBC Jade, which are currently being addressed.
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