The Bahamas flagged bulk carrier MV Rena has been banned from Australian ports for six months after the ship repeatedly failed to pay outstanding wages and maintain a safe workplace for its crew, AMSA informed.
On 30 June, AMSA was notified by ITF that the crew onboard the bulk carrier had not been paid for sevelar months and upon inspection on July 6th, the Maritime Authority issued the following serious deficiencies:
- Failure of the emergency generator to start;
- Failure of the life boat starting arrangements;
- Short comings in the safety management system (ISM); and
- Failure to pay crew the cash component of their wages which totalled about $53,000 US.
AMSA found that the emergency generator, lifeboat and safety management system deficiencies presented a clear risk to the health and safety of the crew, the ship and Australia’s marine environment. Failure to pay crew their total wages is a clear and unacceptable breach of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006.
AMSA’s General Manger of Operations, Allan Schwartz, said the behaviour of the ship’s owners gave AMSA considerable cause for concern but expressed appreciation to the Bahamas Maritime Authority for taking an active role in resolving the issues.
”The failure of the ship operator to ensure that the ship is effectively managed along with the repeated failures of the ISM Code and Maritime Labour Convention, is a clear indication the ship is not being operated to meet applicable minimum standards,” Mr Schwartz said.
All vessels operating in Australian waters must comply with the relevant international standards which are given effect under Australian law. Same vessel was detained earlier this year due to serious deficiencies such as crew working excess hours, and it remaind detained for 29 days at Hay Point. The current ban will expire on 3 February 2018. AMSA warns that if the ship returns to Australia after the ban expires and its detained again for serious deficiencies, it may be subject to a further ban of 12 months.
AMSA urges ship owners to ensure that their vessels are operated and maintained to meet or exceed mechanical and safety standards and that their crews are treated in line with their obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention.