The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has handed down a 90-day ban to the Netherlands-flagged ship Flevogracht, in what has been described as a ‘crackdown on poor performers in the maritime industry.’
AMSA said that it had detained the general cargo ship Flevogracht, operated by the Spliethoff Group, after the ship’s rescue boat engine was found to be defective.
The maritime authority noted that it had issued Spliethoff with two warning letters, outlining concerns over the seaworthiness of their ships, prior to the detainment.
“This latest incident is part of a pattern of unacceptable performance from the operator, that poses a risk to the integrity of the ship, the safety of the crew, and the marine environment,” AMSA pointed out. “AMSA has now detained five Spliethoff ships in the past two years.”
Three of these detentions are related to what has been described as ‘serious failures‘ to effectively implement Safety of Navigation processes. All three of these detentions occurred in Queensland waters, around the Great Barrier Reef.
On February 16, the Master of Spliethoff’s cargo ship Florijngracht was fined $6,000 for breaching compulsory pilotage laws after the ship illegally entered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park without a marine pilot, AMSA further added.
“The fact that Spliethoff ships continue to be detained is evidence of their ongoing and repeated lack of concern for safety and environmental protection,” AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake said.
“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s great natural wonders, and we have an obligation to ensure that any ships entering its waters do so safely and in full compliance of the law.
“Ship operators should be on notice that AMSA will not hesitate to take action when we find unacceptable practices on board ships.”
The announcement comes on the back of last month’s three-month ban of MSC Kymea II from Australian ports. AMSA said that the notice followed months of sub-standard performance from the ship’s operator, MSC Shipmanagement Ltd (MSC), including critical maintenance issues.