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THE containership Thorstar (IMO 9253002) was detained last week at Port Botany and is now at White Bay in Sydney undergoing repairs.

A spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed to DCN that the Liberian-flagged ship had been detained on 2 September.

“The vessel was detained for defective cargo securing arrangements and failure of the vessel’s safety management system to ensure the effective maintenance of the ship and its equipment,” the spokesperson said.

“AMSA has permitted the ship to relocate to White Bay in Port Jackson, NSW, where it will remain under detention while the necessary repairs are carried out.

“AMSA takes a zero-tolerance approach to sub-standard ships operating in Australian waters and will continue to work with the operators of Thorstar to address the identified defects.”

Thorstar is a 2826-TEU containership, built in 2003. The vessel is on the TS Lines’ China-Australia II (CA2) service. According to the published schedule for the vessel, it was due to be in Melbourne on 4 September.

The Maritime Union of Australia said union officials had inspected the vessel on arrival at Port Botany and reported to AMSA.

The union said the inspection revealed extensive corrosion and problems with the condition of deck fittings, lashing lugs and lifting points for lids, among other many other major safety issues.

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The MUA told DCN a marine survey confirmed a raft of safety problems with the vessel. Once it has been made safe, Thorstar is to return to Port Botany where unloading will begin before further work can commence on the deck.

MUA assistant secretary Sydney branch Brad Dunn said the union will always take action on safety and welfare grounds whenever a ship arrives in Australian waters in a poor condition.

“Flags of convenience vessels are a major problem for seafarers and waterside workers around the world and shipowners should be on notice that the MUA takes safety seriously,” Mr Dunn said.

“The MUA will make certain that AMSA is involved whenever risks to stevedores, seafarers and the Australian environment are presented by any ship of shame.”

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