Cargo Ship Thorco Luna Banned from Australian Ports

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(Image Courtesy: FleetMon)

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Philippines-flagged cargo ship Thorco Luna after it was detained for a third time this year for consistently failing to meet international standards.

The ship was released from its latest detention at Port Kembla today, Friday 8 June 2018 and will not be permitted to enter an Australian port for a period of three months.

AMSA inspected the ship five times between November 2017 and June 2018. On three of these occasions the ship was detained and issued with 34 deficiencies. The ship’s average deficiency rate is 6.8 deficiencies per inspection, which is nearly triple the industry average of 2.3.

The most serious deficiencies stemmed from the fact that officers and crew were unfamiliar with the operation of critical shipboard equipment and procedures for navigation and fire safety. This contravenes the obligations under chapter XI-1 of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.

In one case, the ship’s navigating officers had planned to transit a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot and were unfamiliar with the operation of the electronic navigation systems upon which they relied. AMSA also has concerns with safe systems of work and the operation of critical shipboard equipment for fire-fighting, navigation and alarms.

AMSA’s Acting General Manager of Operations, Stephen Curry, said Thorco Luna’s operator had repeatedly failed to ensure the crew ran the ship safely and in line with international standards.

“This presents an unacceptable risk to the safety of the ship, its crew and the marine environment,” Mr Curry said.

“Thorco Luna has been banned from entering an Australian port for a period of three months, which should give the operators time to reassess the management of their operations.”

AMSA has banned six ships in the past two years.

Sea News, June 11