Unsafe and unseaworthy cargo ship banned from Australian waters 

Antigua Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship BBC Weser

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Antigua Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship BBC Weser from Australian waters for 90 days for being in an unsafe and unseaworthy condition – and an unacceptable risk to Australia’s precious marine and coastal environments.

This is the second ship AMSA has banned from Australian waters in a week, following the 90-day ban issued to the Babuza Wisdom.

AMSA detained the ship in May 2023, after inspectors found a significant number of ballast air vents onboard were defective.

Functional ballast air vents are critical safety components that prevent water entering a ship, while allowing air to escape, preventing a dangerous vacuum from developing inside a tank.

The ship’s operator, Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co, has a history of poor performance, with one-in-five of their ships having been detained in Australia since May 2021. This rate is more than three times the average for ships visiting Australian waters.

AMSA had twice contacted Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co to warn them of their poor performance and the potential consequences of further detentions, or more serious compliance and enforcement action.

Previous detentions were due to defective emergency generators and unsafe work platforms - negligence which led to a crew member being critically injured while working on one of their ships.

AMSA Executive Director of Operations Michael Drake said the banning sent a clear message to the operator, and the wider shipping industry, that sub-standard ships will not be tolerated in Australian waters.

BBC Weser poses a significant risk to the safety of the seafarers onboard, and Australia’s precious marine and coastal environments,” Mr Drake said.

“The defects on the BBC Weser are especially concerning, as they are detainable deficiencies that would have been obvious to anyone onboard, and that the operator could not have pleaded ignorance to.

“AMSA has a world class reputation for being a tough-but-fair safety regulator, and we are dedicated to meeting international standards for safety in shipping.

“Sub-standard ships and their operators have been warned.”

For a full list of ships that AMSA has banned, visit:  Refusal of access to Australian ports 


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