188 Lives Lost in Bulk Carrier Casualties Over Last Ten Years


Published Apr 24, 2019 7:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

INTERCARGO has released its Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2018, highlighting that between 2009 to 2018, 188 lives were lost in bulk carrier casualties and 48 bulk carriers over 10,000dwt were identified as total losses.

Nine casualties with loss of 101 seafarers’ lives between 2009 and 2018 were believed to be from cargo related failures - the highest cause of loss of life. The incidents involved six bulk carriers carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, two with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

The most common reported cause of ship losses has been grounding, totalling 19 losses among the 48 cases.

Although there has not been a reported loss of a bulk carrier in 2018 and the 10-year trends in annual average numbers of lives and dry cargo ships lost show positive signs of safety improvement, there is no room for complacency, says INTERCARGO. 

Lessons learned from past incidents play an important role in determining the scope of additional safety improvements, but 23 investigation reports on the 48 losses were still not submitted to the IMO by their flag States, as per information on the IMO GISIS database at end January 2019. 

Six ships lost with unknown causes claimed 61 lives. Five investigation reports of those six cases have not been submitted to the IMO. Reported flooding led to losses of six ships. No investigation report of those six cases has been submitted to the IMO.

The recent publication of the Stellar Daisy Casualty Investigation Report by the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator was much expected by the industry, and INTERCARGO had repeatedly urged for its timely submission to the IMO, as over over years had passed since the sinking of the vessel with the loss of 22 lives.

INTERCARGO's Bulk Carrier Casualty Report is available here.