Unstable Livestock Carrier Stripped of Australian Livestock Carriage License

AMSA inspectorIllustration; Image Courtesy: AMSA

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has revoked the Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock (ACCL) for the Panamanian flagged livestock carrier, MV Jawan.

The maritime body said that the decision was made due to unreliability of the vessel’s approved stability data when the vessel is loaded.

The Jawan was scheduled to depart from Portland on a journey from Australia to Pakistan this morning after the vessel’s classification society, on behalf of the flag state, provided their assessment of the ship’s stability.

“When moved from berth, the ship demonstrated a motion that suggested the ship lacked stability. The master of the vessel requested the vessel be returned to the berth.  The attending AMSA Marine Surveyor boarded the vessel as soon as it was secured,” AMSA said.

All vessels that visit Australia are required to have approved stability information and must calculate the vessel’s stability for every voyage in accordance with the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), given effect in Australian law through the Navigation Act 2012.

AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mick Kinley, said that revoking the ACCL was considered the only option given the circumstances.

“It is extremely concerning that the operators are unable determine the vessel’s stability in a loaded condition since its recent dry-docking and the operator and classification society seem unable to provide a plausible explanation for this situation. It’s a very basic requirement,” Kinley said.

The revoking of the carriage certificate comes two weeks after the vessel was ordered to offload thousands of cattle at Portland because the ship experienced violent rocking from side to side while sailing. This was just a week after the ship was ordered to return to port and offload cattle due to instability issues.

One of the potential reasons behind the instability problem is believed to be the fact that the ship was converted into a livestock carrier from a general cargo ship, ABC news reported earlier citing Peter Van Duyn, of Deakin University.

AMSA said that it expects the vessel will be subject to a detailed examination by the operator and classification society. This may include an ‘inclining experiment’ to fully determine the vessel’s condition and why the current data cannot be relied upon.

“AMSA will also be working with the vessel’s operator, flag state and classification society to determine how the problems with the vessel’s stability data have originated,” the maritime authority added.

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