Out of 213 vessels sold for breaking during the second quarter of 2015, more than half -136 ships- ended their operational life on the beaches of South Asia, according to the data collected and analysed by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
A total of 52 ships were dismantled in India, 47 ships in Bangladesh and 37 ships in Pakistan. Forty-five of these ships were owned by European ship owners, including EFTA owners – two from Norway and one from Switzerland.
Nearly two out of three EU owners who chose to have their end-of-life ships beached are based in Greece. Greek owners alone sold 27 ships for beaching this quarter compared to 30 ships last quarter. Ranking second, German owners sold 4 ships to South Asian breakers this quarter, which means that so far 8 German ships have been beached this year, the report shows.
“No Greek shipping company has sold any ship to other yards than those operating on the South Asian beaches, which demonstrates Greek ship owners’ clear lack of interest for the potential impacts of their decisions for unprotected workers and the environment,” the NGO said.
Amongst the worst ship dumpers, Greek company Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A. sold three ships to Pakistan and one to India; Star Bulk Carriers Corporation sold two ships (1 to India and 1 to Bangladesh); the Angelicoussis Group sold two ships to Pakistan; and the Frangos-Moundreas Group sold two ships to Bangladesh, where the world’s worst shipbreaking yards are located.
Other European shipping companies included: Dancore NV, a Belgian company (1 ship to India); Lemissoler Shipping Group from Cyprus (2 ships to Bangladesh); Irish Mainport Holdings (1 ship to India); Polsteam from Poland (1 ship to Bangladesh); Empresa Naviera Elcano S.A. from Spain (1 ship to India); and four British companies amongst which ArcelorMittal Shipping Limited, which sold one ship to Pakistan, the report said.
Ships registered under the flags of Malta (6), Cyprus (2), and Greece (1), still hit substandard yards operating on beaches.
The Angelicoussis group swapped the Greek flag of its two ships just days before they were beached, most probably when a cash buyer registered the ship for the last voyage, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform. They were replaced by flags of convenience typical for last voyages: Comoros and Kiribati.
Chinese ship owners sold 20 ships to Chinese yards, but another 10 ships owned by Chinese companies were sold to South Asian yards. Moreover, two Turkish companies sold their ships to South Asian yards instead of having them broken locally at Aliaga, the report finds.
Six fatal accidents
Between April and July 2015, the Platform documented at least six fatal accidents in the shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh. It recorded three severe injuries in these three months.
One worker died at Ferdous shipbreaking yard when he fell from great height. The report said that the worker did not wear a safety harness to prevent accidents – the yards do not provide the necessary safety equipment. Shortly after, two more workers were injured at the same yard.
Two workers fell down while working on a vessel and suffered from severe injuries. In the month of July only, at least five workers, predominantly in their twenties, died in various accidents, such as by falling from great heights or by being crushed by heavy machinery.