The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Babuza Wisdom for 90 days for a plethora of detainable deficiencies including a defective rescue boat engine.
Babuza Wisdom is operated by poor-performing operator Well Shipmanagment & Maritime Consultant Company Limited. The operator’s run-ins with safety regulators in recent years have earned its fleet a detention rate which is more than five times the average for ships visiting Australian waters.
Given the operator’s poor performing history and repeated warnings from AMSA over other ships in its fleet which have been detained in recent years, Babuza Wisdom was considered to be a high-risk ship and was subsequently lined-up for an inspection by AMSA in Geelong on 17 May 2023.
That inspection revealed a defective rescue boat engine, defective reserve batteries for MF and HF radio systems and systemic maintenance and reporting failures within the implemented safety management system onboard.
A significant risk to safety and the environment, the Babuza Wisdom was immediately detained by AMSA.
AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake said a defective rescue boat engine critically compromised the ship’s ability to respond to an emergency like a person overboard event.
“That alone would have been cause for a detention,” Mr Drake said. “Compounding this was the defective reserve batteries for MF and HF radio systems which means the ship had no radio back-up if it lost main engine power, which is a feasible scenario given its maintenance and reporting failures.”
A review of regulatory interactions with other ships operated by Well Shipmanagement & Maritime Consultant Company Ltd in the last three years identified significant systemic failings and a trend of unacceptable performance of ships operated by the company.
“We have repeatedly warned Well Shipmanagement & Maritime Consultant Company Ltd to ensure its ships meet the minimum international standards, and yet what we have seen is continued systemic failings which place the safety of seafarers and our environment at unacceptable risk,” Mr Drake said. “That is why we have taken the step to ban Babuza Wisdom from Australian waters for 90 days, which will send an even clearer message to the operator about the gravity in which we regard our role as a safety regulator, and our zero-tolerance approach to sub-standard ships.”