By Charlie Bartlett from London
North P&I club is advising shipowners to “check their new ships very carefully” after finding aspects of shoddy construction aboard various newbuilds.
“We have been made aware of instances recently where newly constructed bulk carriers and general cargo ships have been delivered from the shipbuilder with partly completed or poorly constructed ladders in the cargo holds, for example,” said Tony Baker, head of North’s loss prevention department.
Baker cites ladders, platforms and other hold access equipment fastened to bulkheads with tack welds, rather than full welding, risking detachment from the hull “…when subject to a load or any other applied stress, such as vessel movement”.
“This introduces a very high risk of injury to crew members, stevedores and any third parties entering or leaving the cargo hold,” Baker explains.
As well as jeopardising the safety of crew, the poor construction risks port state control detentions and costly repairs. Although these are recoverable under newbuilding warranty, “any costs incurred through consequential losses, as a result of such a defect, are unlikely to be recoverable,” the club said.
“Shipowners and their superintendents taking delivery of newbuildings in the current market need to be extra vigilant to ensure that all parts of the ship – including hold access ladders – are defect free,” said Baker. “The first few months that a vessel enters service are amongst some of the busiest, during which time hidden or previously unnoticed build defects will soon become apparent, potentially resulting in serious accidents and delays.”
Published inAmericas, Asia, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Dry Cargo, Regulation, Shipbuilding & Shipyards, Ship Operations