Video: Livestock Carrier Damaged and Listing off Western Australia

Damage to the Barkly Pearl's hull (AMSA)

Published Nov 3, 2020 11:25 AM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) requested a damaged livestock carrier to divert to the Port of Geraldton.

The Marshall Islands-flagged livestock carrier Barkly Pearl had sustained damage to its hull and was about 65 nautical miles north of Geraldton when AMSA learned of the situation. On the night of November 2, AMSA tasked a Challenger search and rescue jet to fly over the vessel, and it was able to confirm damage to the starboard side. The Barkly Pearl was also listing to port.

AMSA General Manager of Response Mark Morrow said there were concerns for the vessel's seaworthiness and its ability to safely reach Indonesia, its planned destination. She has no livestock on board.

“We held concerns about the integrity of the vessel and the potential for environmental issues” said Morrow. “As a result, AMSA issued a direction for the vessel to make its way to safety in the Port of Geraldton.”

AMSA officials worked with Western Australian authorities to ensure that the vessel arrived safely, including the management of any COVID risks. The master reported that all crewmembers are in good health. Barkly Pearl arrived at Geraldton at about 0600 hours local time on Tuesday. 

A recent study conducted by The Guardian found that livestock carriers are on average older (as a class) and more prone to total-loss casualties than the world's merchant fleet as a whole. Most are vessel conversions, typically based on ro/ros, container ships and other vessels that are already in or after the middle of their commercial life. Barkly Pearl is 27 years old, and she has been converted twice: she began life as the cargo ship Karin B, was converted into the seismic vessel Polar Pearl, then became a livestock carrier.