“SERIOUS and repeated” safety and pollution failures by a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship have seen it banned from Australian waters for three months.

The vessel was the cargo ship BBC Rio (IMO 9430222), operated by JP Alliance Ship Management. 

It was detained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on 18 August 2020 in Bunbury, WA after an inspection revealed 20 deficiencies.

According to AMSA, those deficiencies ranged from serious electrical hazards, faulty fuel oil leak alarms, defective forepeak tank head, a defective bridge window, a broken sewage treatment plant and significant oil accumulation in the engine room.

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AMSA general manager of operations Allan Schwartz said it was the operator’s second brush with authorities in Australia this year.

“A sister ship, BBC Rainbow, operated by JP Alliance Ship Management was also detained by AMSA in Bunbury on 12 February 2020 for similar failures relating to safety and pollution prevention,” Mr Schwartz said.

“The operator was issued with a formal letter warning that should BBC Rainbow or another ship in its fleet be caught with serious deficiencies in Australian waters again, that it may attract more serious regulatory action.

“The message to industry couldn’t be clearer. Sub-standard ships will not be tolerated in Australian waters, which is why this week we have issued a three-month ban to BBC Rio.”

Mr Schwartz said JP Alliance Ship Management had been advised to take appropriate action to improve the maintenance and upkeep.

“Our powers under the Navigation Act 2012 allow for indefinite banning of entire fleets, and failure to comply with directions carry extensive penalties,” he said.

The BBC Rio is the third ship banned by AMSA this year for “serious breaches” of international conventions.

BBC Rio is the 17th ship banned by AMSA since 2014.

The BBC Rio rectified the most serious safety deficiencies while detained in Bunbury and was permitted to offload its remaining cargo in Adelaide, as scheduled to avoid cargo operations disruption.

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