Health and safety

Bulk carrier casualties claim 188 seafarers’ lives in 10 years

20 May 2019

One hundred and eighty-eight seafarers have lost their lives in bulk carrier casualties in the past decade, an average of 19 deaths annually, according to Intercargo’s Bulk Carrier Report 2018.

Liquefaction was the primary cause of deaths, accounting for nine casualties and the loss of 101 lives – 39.6% of total deaths.

The incidents involved six bulk carriers transporting nickel ore from Indonesia, two with Laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

Nineteen of the reported ship losses were due to grounding. Six ships were lost due to flooding.

From 2009 to 2018 a total of 2.89dwt was lost - averaging 289,000dwt per year.

The average age of the vessels lost was 19.2 years.

Some 48 cargo vessels over 10,000dwt were identified as total losses, an average of five ships a year.

Handysize vessels accounted for 37.5% of the losses; supramax 16.7%; capesize 14.6% and panamax 8.3%.

In 2017, the Stellar Daisy and Emerald Star incidents resulted in 32 deaths. No bulk carrier losses were recorded in 2018.

Flag states are still failing to file casualty investigation reports at International Maritime Organization, with nearly half (23) of the 48 losses in 2018 outstanding.

None of the investigation reports of six ships lost by flooding have been submitted to IMO.