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IACS ‘anxious’ about Stellar Daisy loss

IACS ‘anxious’ about Stellar Daisy loss

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The head of the International Association of Classification Societies says he’s ready to learn from any defects or mistakes made in the run up to the recent sinking of the Stellar Daisy VLOC. The giant 1993-bulker, owned by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping and classed by the Korean Register, went down in the afternoon of March 31 with the presumed loss of 22 lives. A second Polaris ship – also a VLCC conversion – suffered a crack in its hull days after the Stellar Daisy sinking prompting Polaris to carry out a fleet-wide urgent inspection of its ships.

“As yet, IACS does not have sufficient confirmed information to comment or in any way speculate on the cause of the vessel’s tragic loss,” Robert Ashdown, the secretary general of IACS, told Splash.

He stressed that both the Korean Register and the ship’s registry, the Marshall Islands, are continuing to investigate the case.

“The Korean Register and IACS are anxious and ready to make any relevant contribution to the formal investigation into the events and causes of this casualty,” Ashdown said.

The IACS boss said that following the investigation it would be important to incorporate any lessons to be learned that could further improve safety and minimise future risk from this type of accident.

The Korean Register has admitted that rule changes could be on the cards following the sinking of the converted ore carrier. Intercargo and the IMO are both pushing for a serious investigation into the accident in which there were just two survivors.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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12 Comments

  1. Martin Rowe
    April 19, 2017 at 5:30 am Reply

    If mv Stellar Daisy were an aeroplane then every other plane of the same type would be grounded until such time as the reason for the accident were established and a solution/fix put in place. Instead because it’s a ship we get a bunch of hand wringing from IACS and flag state who appear to be doing the square root of bugger all about it

    1. Andrew Craig-Bennett
      April 19, 2017 at 6:24 am Reply

      That is a point that should bring us all up short.

    2. pikeman
      April 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm Reply

      This sinking of a Stellar Daisy was a copybook bulk-carrier loss. So quick that even the lifeboats could not be lowered. The two crew members who survived are just lucky. The point is that nothing much has changed in the way bulk carriers vanish, despite all complicated math of the strengthening of the bulkheads etc.

      After this incident, the conspiracy of silence of all experts is shocking, but more than that is the propensity to look for red herrings such as liquefaction. Why doesn’t everyone just admit that we are nowhere closer to understanding bulk carrier risks than we were 20 years ago.

      The ship probably cracked into two because of bad loading practices which stressed these vessels to the maximum of SF/BMs. The mathematics of the IACS rule book is always probabilistic to some extent, hence the operators must work to minimum possible SF/BMs. The IMO must intervene to establish an independent investigation. There is no doubt that Polaris knew about the cracks in the fleet of her ships, but chose to just weld them without trying to understand the root cause. In the blind pursuit of profits, the lives of 22 seamen is cheap.

      1. Raptor
        April 20, 2017 at 5:59 am Reply

        Pikeman I fully agree with your statement that this noise about liquefaction is a “red herring” as to liquefy ore , you need furst to have water ingress.
        Els3 I don’t think that wrong loading and excess of SF/BM is the core issue.
        It is most likely that the whole transformation from single hull VLCC to VLOC was performed without sufficient analysis of the extra stress et fatigue resulting from transporting a high gensity cargo.
        Add to that the fact that there is no way to prevent corrosion in hold and probably unsufficient surveys by class and you can get cracks propagating all along side hull and deck.
        In that respect, final breaking in two will be result not main cause.

  2. 김광수
    April 19, 2017 at 7:36 am Reply

    Serious investigation is very impportant also. However, we should not give up to search and rescue. They are winding down SAR as times go by even though we have not found life raft. Please do not think it is over, there is hope to be survived.

  3. 김광수
    April 19, 2017 at 7:37 am Reply

    We have not found 1 life raft. Never give up.

  4. David Ball
    April 19, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply

    The IACS are ready to learn, or even anxious to learn. What a wimpish waffle response to a very serious safety at sea issue. peoples lives are at risk every day that similar ships under the same ownership are allowed to continue to operate.

    From reports so far, the owners should be facing serious court charges and be subject to very heavy penalties including long gaol time.

    The IACS should take this seriously and act, right now.

  5. Raptor
    April 19, 2017 at 7:34 pm Reply

    This guy is damn right to be “anxious”.
    But with an accident clearly involving class issues, he should not rely on “investigations” by KR and flag and only feel anxious.
    It is time for clear actions against greedy class working for greedy shipowner which want to convert vessels to carry cargo type they were not intended for.

  6. pikeman
    April 21, 2017 at 6:06 am Reply

    Who is doing the investigation?

  7. Sam Chambers
    Sam Chambers
    April 21, 2017 at 6:26 am Reply

    Marshall Islands flag

  8. Mohandas menon
    April 21, 2017 at 7:34 am Reply

    Pikerman is right, they need to look at the loading done at the last port. The conversion of any vessel has to be looked into well before accepting the design for conversion.

  9. hcelap
    April 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm Reply

    they have to put some regulations in place to adjust loading rates according to the safety limits of cargo ships in brazillian iron ore terminals.
    can you imagine that loading rate at ponta da madeira iron ore terminal is 16000 mts/hour, so that this put significnt risk to the steel construction of cargo ships .
    i believe that they have to start first greedy/non careless terminal operator in brazil even in australia…

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