Loose Lids Sink Ships

Another container ship breaks safety regulations in Melbourne port posing risk to ship safety and the environment.

Waterside workers raised alarm this week after the Chinese flagged ship, Da He, left Melbourne Port at 11pm on Tuesday evening before containers on deck had been fully lashed. Dock workers were ordered off the vessel by the ship's captain before they could finish securing the ship's container load.

The containers on board the Da He are now a serious safety and environmental hazard with a risk they could be dislodged during the voyage into busy shipping lanes.
Only last year containers came off the Pacific Venturer in heavy seas, punching a hole in the hull of the ship and spilling 30 tonnes of heavy oil 20 kilometres along the Queensland coastline.
The Da He departed East Swanson Dock on August 10 and is scheduled to arrive at Fishermen's Island, Brisbane tomorrow.

Maritime Union spokesperson Kevin Bracken, today said that the situation was getting out of control and that it was only a matter of time before a serious accident occurred.
"This is not an isolated incident, he said.
"The issue is a time bomb waiting to go off".
"Not only is the unsecured load at risk of falling into busy shipping channels, ship owners are ordering the crew to secure containers while at sea to save money. This is dangerous, especially in rough seas."
Melbourne waterside workers reported the serious breach to the union immediately following the incident, who then alerted relevant authorities, but as is becoming almost standard practice the Ship of Shame was able to sail silently and dangerously into the night. 
The Da He incident is the second ship reported to have left Melbourne in the past year with containers stacked on deck unlashed, after the MSC Krittika last October. Some containers carry hazardous chemicals and goods which pose a threat to the environment if they are damaged at sea.
The MUA says the Federal Government needs reforms to revitalise Australian shipping and tighter restrictions to regulate foreign ships operating on our coast.
"It is ships like the Da He which have not only been carrying our exports but replacing Australian ships on our coast and posing a risk to workers' safety and our environment," said Kevin Bracken.


Kevin Bracken, Victorian Branch Secretary, 0400 077 563

Mick Doleman, Deputy National Secretary, 0418 391 528