Australia Bans Dutch Ship Amid Crackdown on ‘Poor Performers’

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has handed down a 90-day ban to the Netherlands-flagged ship Flevogracht in a crackdown on poor performers in the maritime industry, reports Baird Maritime.

AMSA detained the general cargo ship, operated by the Spliethoff Group, after the ship’s rescue boat engine was found to be defective.

Ship detained

AMSA had previously issued Spliethoff with two warning letters, outlining concerns over the seaworthiness of the company’s ships. This latest incident is part of a pattern of unacceptable performance from the operator, that poses a risk to the integrity of the ship, the safety of the crew, and the marine environment.

AMSA has now detained five Spliethoff ships in the past two years.

Three of the detentions are related to serious failures to effectively implement Safety of Navigation processes. All three of these detentions occurred in Queensland waters, around the Great Barrier Reef.

Cargo ship detained for lack of marine pilot

On February 16, the master of Spliethoff’s cargo ship Florijngracht was fined $6,000 for breaching compulsory pilotage laws after the ship illegally entered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park without a marine pilot.

The fact that Spliethoff ships continue to be detained is evidence of their ongoing and repeated lack of concern for safety and environmental protection,” said AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s great natural wonders, and we have an obligation to ensure that any ships entering its waters do so safely and in full compliance of the law. Ship operators should be on notice that AMSA will not hesitate to take action when we find unacceptable practices on board ships.