THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority has banned the general cargo ship BBC Pearl after inspectors found failures of the safety management system, as well as a defective emergency generator and defective fire dampers during a port state control inspection in Cairns.

The vessel is the second Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co ship that AMSA has banned from Australian waters in less than a month. BBC Weser was banned for 90 days on 12 June.

BBC Pearl was detained in Cairns for four days until the serious deficiencies were rectified before, it proceeded to Port Hedland where the banning notice was issued.

AMSA said the ship’s operator has a history of poor performance. The authority has issued warnings that future safety violations would lead to strict enforcement action.

AMSA executive director of operations Michael Drake said the safety violations on the BBC Pearl were alarming and posed a real safety risk to the seafarers on board.

“The defective emergency generator would render the vessel helpless in the event of a main power supply failure, and this is the second time the BBC Pearl has been detained for a defective emergency generator,” he said.

“These are clear violations of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.”

Mr Drake said that any operators that think they can get away with substandard ships in Australia should be on notice. 

“Australia has a reputation for upholding high safety standards for vessels entering our waters,” he said.

“We have imposed a longer ban of 180-days on the BBC Pearl to send a clear message to any poor-performing operator that Australia finds these conditions to be unacceptable.”