Port cracking down on unseaworthy ships with safety audits

WITH marine health and port safety in the public eye, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority is cracking down on unseaworthy ships entering ports across the nation, and Gladstone is no exception.

As a proactive measure, Australian Reef Pilots have started conducting ship safety audits at overseas ports to assess whether foreign ships bound for Australia are up to standard.

Five ships have already been detained in Gladstone since May this year.

Of the five bulk carriers detained, three were found to have serious deficiencies in their Safety Management Systems, which ranged from defects in lifeboat release mechanisms, ineffective maintenance and planning of passages.

Maltese vessel Vitaspirit was also to found to have a defective radio.

All five ships were detained until their issues were rectified, with one vessel held more than three days.