THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority has banned the bulk carrier Peace over a lack of maintenance and serious deterioration of onboard fixtures.

Peace (IMO 9568067) is a Cyprus-flagged vessel operated by Danaos Shipping. The ship was detained in Newcastle on 31 May 2024, and released on Monday 3 June after watertight and weathertight failures were rectified.

The ship will not be permitted to enter Australian ports for three months.

Danaos Shipping also operates the containership Suez Canal (IMO 9230311), which was the subject of a prolonged detention in January this year.

AMSA’s acting executive director operations Greg Witherall said the company’s failures with Suez Canal gave the authority “serious cause for concern” about other ships operated by the company – leading AMSA to increase the frequency of inspections.

“In January 2024 we issued Danaos Shipping with a formal letter of warning, urging the company to rectify the systemic issues which led to the Suez Canal being detained in Australia that same month,” Mr Witherall said.

“Clearly that letter of warning fell on deaf ears. Fast forward five months and we have had yet another one of Danaos Shipping’s vessels, the Peace, detained in an Australian port for a lack of maintenance and serious deterioration of fixtures and fittings such as hatches.

“The state of Peace was so poor that it represented a very real and unacceptable risk to the safety of seafarers onboard and Australia’s marine environment. Ships cannot be operated in this unseaworthy state.”

Mr Witherall said the watertight and weathertight deficiencies had “catastrophic potential”.

“Allowing a ship to fall into a state of deterioration is completely unacceptable – there are no excuses for this level of neglect,” he said.

“That is why we have taken the next step of banning this ship from entering an Australian port again for three months.

“Further action may be taken against the company itself should Danaos Shipping continue down this trajectory of operating unseaworthy ships.”