Bulk Carrier Detained; Two Crew Convicted
A Hong Kong flagged vessel was detained in Queensland following a Port State Control (PSC) inspection conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which identified a number of deficiencies.
MV Bulk Ingenuity was detained under the Navigation Act 2012 for failing to carry relevant nautical charts and publications as required under international shipping convention and failing to prepare a voyage plan taking into account the Designated Shipping Area (DSA) of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on a voyage from China to Abbot Point.
AMSA inspected the vessel following the detection of the vessel by the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS), outside the DSA on July 21, which resulted in the ship’s master and second mate being convicted and fined under the Great Barrier Marine Park Act 1975.
The prosecution was the result of a joint AMSA, Australian Federal Police and Great Barrier Marine Park Authority investigation.
The deficiencies identified in the subsequent PSC were evidence of the failure of the ship’s safety management system with regards to the safety of navigation.
AMSA Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley said the vessel had relied on photocopied charts for navigation and failed to carry appropriate charts necessary for navigating through the Great Barrier Reef.
“The REEFVTS in Townsville exists to monitor the passage of ships through the Great Barrier Reef,” Kinley said. “Where deviation from recommended routes is detected REEFVTS will take action to contact the vessel in order for the vessel to return to the recommended route, as occurred in this case.
Kinley continued, “This highlights the effectiveness of the REEFVTS in detecting this vessel, which was subsequently found not to be carrying the appropriate charts to navigate through the area.”
AMSA ship surveyors may board vessels at any time to inspect and detain unseaworthy or substandard ships.
“Australia dedicates considerable resources to maintain rigorous Port State Control inspections of the highest standard to protect lives and preserve the marine environment,” Kinley said. “Navigating through marine areas without the appropriate charts is a danger to those on board vessels and the marine environment.”
MV Bulk Ingenuity was detained at Abbot Point until the deficiencies were addressed and it resumed its voyage late on Wednesday night.