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Casualty investigation reports taking nearly three years to complete

Intercargo, the international dry bulk shipping association, has hit out at the slowness with which flag states publish casualty reports, with the average time for each bulker investigation taking nearly three years.

“Lessons learned from past incidents play an important role in determining where additional safety improvements are necessary both at an industry and an international level,” Intercargo stated in a release detailing the 39 bulker casualties that have occurred over the past decade.

Intercargo said it was vital that casualty investigation reports are submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in a timely manner so that the root causes of serious incidents can be properly identified and the appropriate corrective actions taken.

Only 24, or about 62%, of a total of 39 bulk carrier losses in the past decade had their investigation reports made available on the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) database at the end of January 2020. The average time from incident to a report becoming available has been 32 months for these investigations.

Cargo failure and liquefaction continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping. Between 2010 and 2019, among the 39 losses, there were eight casualties with suspected cargo failure.

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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