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Intercargo calls for extreme caution in relation to high-risk cargo

Following the wreck of dry bulker Emerald Star, after which 10 seafarers remain missing, Intercargo calls for extreme caution when transport high-risk cargoes such as nickel ore, and the association urges for an accident report to be submitted to the IMO as quickly as possible.

Almost two weeks after the wreck of dry bulk vessel Emerald Star, 10 crew members remain missing.

Dry bulk association Intercargo now calls for an accident report to be submitted to the IMO as quickly as possible, and for vessels that transport nickel ore – the cargo carried by Emerald Star – to operate with extreme caution.

"Intercargo is deeply concerned with the tragic loss of the 57k dwt bulk carrier Emerald Star in the morning of the 13th October with 26 seafarers on board," writes the association.

"Lessons need to be learnt promptly after maritime casualties," writes Intercargo.

So far, everything seems to indicate that time is of the essence. Emerald Star is just the latest accident of several in a short period of time, as large dry bulk vessels carrying high-risk cargoes such as nickel ore or bauxite can sink in wrecks that kill seafarers.

Missing accident reports

This is far from the first time that Intercargo calls for caution concerning these cargoes and criticizes flag states in relation to accidents. As for the Emerald Star wreck, the association praises flag state Hong Kong for acting quickly and launching an investigation of the accident in close cooperation with the various stakeholders.

But the flag state then also needs to submit the report to the IMO in proper time, stresses Intercargo. Far from all accidents have been sufficiently investigated, showed a study from Intercargo a few years back. From 2005 to 2015, 71 dry bulk vessels of more than 10,000 dwt sank. Only 24 of these 71 wrecks were followed up with accident reports submitted to the IMO.

"Intercargo stresses the importance of timely submission of the casualty investigation report to IMO, as a means of identifying the causes of the incident and enabling corrective actions," writes the association in the update on Emerald Star.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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