Ocean Outback leaves Fremantle for Vietnam

After a couple of weeks stuck in Fremantle with a broken engine the Wellard-controlled Ocean Outback has left for Southeast Asia. The ship discharged its cargo of 7,500 sheep and took on 5,500 cattle, bound for Vietnam. The ship was forced to return to Fremantle on December 29 when a bust piston stopped one of its two engines. Since then, a number of animals have died while repairs were attempted to the vessel. The original shipment to Israel was cancelled and the charterer and shipowner had to seek a new destination for the vessel.

News of animals dying onboard enraged a number of animal welfare groups, leading to both the federal and regional governments intervening, issuing statements.

The ship is travelling to Vietnam using just one of its two engines.

“Both the Western Australia and federal governments and departments have been very responsive and supportive to expedite a solution to this issue and I want to publicly acknowledge their support,” said Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini.


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.


  1. It was not the news of animals dying on board that enraged us (after all, 16,147 sheep and 1638 cattle died last year, on ships, with feed and water and supposed expert stockmen and veterinary care, with no predators or birthing complications and we are well aware of the acceptable mortality rate – the number of animals who are considered simply expendable during the process of sea transport), it was the fact that there appeared to be no contingency plan to look after the best interests of the animals in the event of a breakdown, which would not, by far, be the first for either this vessel, or Wellard.

    Fair enough that they docked in Henderson to attempt repairs, but as soon as they were aware that the repairs could not be done in Australia, they should have unloaded all animals to a quarantined feedlot, whilst working out a plan of action

  2. Hi Katrina, Would you like to write a Contribution piece for us on yr views re livestock carriers? take a look at our Contributions section for an idea of what we are after.

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