China Instigates Special Bulk Carrier Inspections
The China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has launched a special inspection on bulk carriers to be carried out by port state and flag state inspections.
The campaign will run from June 15 to December 31, 2017, and bulk carriers above 15 years of age and more than 10,000 gross tonnage engaged on international voyages shall be targeted for inspection with priority.
The inspection of bulk carriers converted from tankers must undergo PSC inspection at the first port of call after the campaign starts. The inspection will focus on the ship’s structure and ballast tanks.
The move comes in the wake of the loss of the Stellar Daisy, a very large ore carrier (VLOC) converted from a tanker. The Stellar Daisy sank rapidly this March after what survivors described as a catastrophic structural failure. 22 members of her crew remain missing.
Shipowner Polaris Shipping has moved to secure replacement tonnage for some of its aging VLOCs, at least three of which have been found to have cracks in their hulls.
Concurrently, the Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU, Black Sea MoU, Indian Ocean MoU and Vina del Mar will carry out a concentrated inspection campaign on all vessels, not just bulk carriers, on safety of navigation from September 1.