Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) on Friday (18 December) announced it has formulated measures to prevent a recurrence of the incident involving the bulk carrier Wakashio, chartered by MOL from a subsidiary of Nagashiki Shipping Co., Ltd. (the Shipowner), which ran aground off the island of Mauritius on Saturday, July 25, and leaked bunker oil on Thursday, August 6.
In developing the measures to prevent reoccurrence, as the investigation and survey by local authorities are still ongoing, MOL said it has reviewed its past initiatives on safe operation based on probable causes, from the beginning-not only from the aspect of the vessel, the front line of safe operation, but other aspects including MOL’s shoreside support system and management systems of shipowners and ship management companies.
In taking these measures, MOL said it continually works to establish a system that it can implement with vessels, shipowners, and other concerned parties, and to further improve the level of safety in overall supply chains that are jointly provided.
The following are MOL’s published findings on the incident as well as measures the company will put in place to prevent any recurrences:
Background of grounding incident (Based on the information the Shipowner obtained from the crewmembers)
Two days before the grounding of Wakashio (July 23), she changed her passage plan-the distance from the coast when sailing off the island of Mauritius-from 22 nautical miles (Note 1) to 5 nautical miles.
On the day of grounding (July 25), she tried to further reduce the distance from the coast from 5 nautical miles to 2 nautical miles, to enter an area within the communication range of mobile phones and used a nautical chart without sufficient scale to confirm the accurate distance from the coast and water depth. In addition, a crewmember neglected appropriate watch-keeping (visually and by radar), even though she was trying to sail 2 nautical miles off the coast. As a result, she ran aground in shallow water (10m deep) 0.9 nautical miles off the coast of Mauritius.
Additionally, the vessel had approached other coasts several times even before the incident, the crew may have taken unsafe actions due to overconfidence that stems from complacency. In MOL’s view, such behavior on a large vessel reflects a lack of safety awareness.
Another reason behind the cause is the crew members lacked awareness of the guidelines on performing navigation in a safe manner and their efforts to conform were insufficient, because they did not prepare an appropriate passage plan that would have ensured appropriate performance, did not own and use the correct nautical map, and neglected visual and radar watchkeeping.
Measures to prevent reoccurrence
MOL will invest the equivalent of about JPY 500 million (USD 4.83 million) in measures to prevent reoccurrence of probable causes, based on the following measures.
Addressing the lack of safety awareness
Addressing the lack of awareness of regulations on safe navigation and insufficient performance
Enhancement of ship operation quality
Strengthen support system from shore side
Enhance involvement with shipowners
Enhance involvement in selection of senior officers
Response on hardware side
To continually “nurture and protect the natural environment by maintaining the highest standards of operational safety and navigation,” as stated in the MOL Corporate Principles, every MOL Group member must take to heart the message that safe operation is the major premise for corporate activities and work to prevent the recurrence of this incident.
Related: MOL seventh update on “MV Wakashio” reveals plans for safe removal of stern
Related: Clyde & Co: After Wakashio, is the Bunker Convention fit for purpose?
Related: IMO continues to mitigate impact of Wakashio oil spill, though insurance is limited
Related: MOL releases second update on “MV Wakashio”, 1800 mt of fuel remain onboard
Related: MOL and Nagashiki Shipping release update on grounded bulk carrier “MV Wakashio”
Related: IMO supports Mauritius in “MV Wakashio” oil spill response issues with technical advice
Photo credit: International Maritime Organisation
Published: 21 December, 2020
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