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Australian authorities file charges against APL England master

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has filed charges against the master of containership APL England, which lost over 50 containers overboard off the New South Wales coast on May 24.

The offences relate to pollution and damage of the Australian marine environment as a result of poor cargo loading. Last week, inspections by the authority found inadequate lashing arrangements for cargo and heavily corroded securing points for containers onboard the vessel.

“Laying charges against the ship’s Master is not action we undertake lightly but this and other incidents remind us of the important role the ship’s Master has in ensuring the ships that ply our waters are operated safely and do not damage our marine environment,” AMSA said in a release, adding that the actions should not detract from the responsibility of the shipowner, CMA CGM’s APL, insurer Steamship Mutual, and operator ANL who remain accountable for remediation of any impacts of this incident.

The ship is currently detained at the Port of Brisbane and will not be released until the deficiencies have been rectified.

According to AMSA, it has placed an additional requirement on the owner of the ship under the Protection of the Seas Act which must be met before the ship will be released from detention. The action seeks financial security from the insurers in the order of $22m, which covers estimated costs to remediate all impacts of the incident including clean-up operations.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.

Comments

  1. WHAT NONSENSE AND CRAZINESS IS THIS.
    CHARGE THE OWNERS NEPTUNE ORIENT LINES AND SHORE STAFF FR MAINTAINING THE VESSEL IN SAFE CONDITION. HOW ABOUT THE CLASS SOCIETY WHO APPROVED THE CONDITION OF STEEL ON HATCH COVERS, LASHING etc.
    WHY CHARGE THE MASTER ????

    1. Neptune Orient Lines are now a defunct shipping company, CMA CGM took over the APL brand almost 5 years ago.

      Now, regarding the cargo loading, the planners and stevedores are assigning locations and lashing respectively, class is providing the documentary proof that the equipment onboard are suitable for use but supervisory authority lies with the Master, from the location of the containers and refusal to load, to lashing and how-to. He also decides if additional lashing is required for the journey ahead.

      The Master should have ensured that lashings are checked periodically and containers secured, if the lashings are wasted, they should not even be used in the first place. Now, this incident cannot be solely attributed to weather as heavily corroded lashing points and inadequate lashing contributed to the failure, so the blame would naturally falls on the Master’s failure of Oversight.

  2. As per law master it is the responsibility of Master to see things in order. He is the owners rep while on board.

  3. ITS FINE AND DANDY ALL U GUYS TALKING THE LAW, ISM, THIS THAT THE OTHER BUT HOW ABOUT REAL LIFE, REALITY AS TO WHAT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. MASTER COMES INTO A CONTAINER BERTH WHERE EVER AFTER LONG OR SHORT PASSAGE, THE LOADING UNLOADING STARTS DAY AND NIGHT . BEFORE U CAN SAY JUMIN JACK FLASH, THE VESSEL IS OUT AGAIN. WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO EVEN WITH THE THREE OFFICERS HE HAS ? THIS ONE WAS WHAT 9000 TEU ? 4500 TEU ? HE ALONG WITH ALL THE OFFICERS SHUD B CHECKING THE STEEL, LASHING POINTS, THEN GO TO SEA .FR WATCH KEEPING ETC ETC.
    I’D LOVE TO SEE THE MASTER + 3 CHECKING THE LASHING POINTS AT EACH LOADING FR 23,000 TEU GIRL.

    U GOT TO B KIDDING.
    THOSE GUYS SITTING IN OFFICE SHUD B HAULED UP.
    NO NEED TO HIDE UNDER THE LAW.
    GET OFF THE CONTAINER VESSELS MASTERS BACK.

    GET REAL !!

  4. Ship’s Master has the ultimate responsibility for all of ship’s operation while onboard. Mates and crew’s routine and regular duties are on his shoulder as well. He is the person on behalf of his owner; therefore, the owner must involve this situation to protect the master.

  5. I guess as Master your physical ability to ensure is limited hence ALL personnel both shore and aboard MUST contribute to the Cargo Operations…..end of the day the MASTER is held responsible come what may.
    Therefore the onus is on the Master to enforce the conditions of Loading as practicable as possible!

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