Container loss incidents have drawn growing scrutiny from regulators due to the potential for air pollution from containerized cargoes, significantly plastics. In a brand new report, the UK MAIB warned that crew complacency could have performed a task in a container loss casualty off Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
On October 31, 2020, the Dutch feeder Francisca was beneath manner off Duncansby Head within the UK North Sea, sure for the Netherlands. A heavy storm was passing by the area, and Francisca encountered excessive waves.
Whereas pitching into the swells, Francisca shipped water over the bulwarks, and containers on deck had been hit by the seas. This brought about a stack collapse, and 34 containers had been misplaced over the facet. All however one had been empties, and solely a small quantity of cargo washed ashore. The ship and her crew had been unhurt and had been in a position to head for sheltered waters.
Based on MAIB’s preliminary evaluation, Francisca misplaced some pace and heading management when she hit every wave, exposing the deck cargo to inexperienced seas. This was sufficient to overload the lashings and topple the containers.
The company advised that the ship’s crew could have grow to be accustomed to the routine foul climate on the route between Iceland and the Netherlands, and so they could not have appreciated the chance of the scenario their ship was in. As well as, corrosion of the cargo lashing preparations and the absence of a breakwater on the bow could have contributed to the loss, MAIB mentioned.
“The whole lot is properly established and we’ve labored utterly in line with the principles,” mentioned Erik van der Wiel, director of ship supervisor VMS, chatting with RTV Noord after the casualty. “A storm brought about excessive waves. Because of this, water in all probability washed over the deck and the containers had been knocked overboard. Luckily, the crew was unhurt and the ship itself was not badly broken. It’s a dangerous scenario, with a very good consequence in the intervening time.”