Bulk Carrier Banned for Year by Australia Due To Safety Issues

Sydney Harbor, Australia
Updated Published

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has imposed a one-year prohibition on the Liberian-flagged cargo ship, KMAX Leader, from docking at any Australian ports due to significant safety infractions and violations of local laws by the vessel's Captain and its owner while docked in Gladstone Harbour.

The KMAX Leader became a focal point for AMSA after it reported unexplained vibrations in the engine room in October. The vessel's representative assured that the mechanical problems would be rectified in 8 to 10 days, yet the repairs extended beyond this timeframe.

The predicament worsened when the vessel was stranded in the Port of Gladstone throughout the cyclone season, creating a considerable safety hazard. In this interval, the Queensland coast was struck by two cyclones.

AMSA had issued several Direction Notices to the vessel, demanding a damage assessment from the ship’s classification society and details regarding towage provisions and a revised plan for repairs. Despite these directives, the vessel failed to comply, and its proprietors did not collaborate with AMSA to address the issues.

AMSA’s Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, expressed his disappointment with the owner's non-cooperation concerning the KMAX Leader.

“AMSA expects all ship operators and Masters to engage promptly, transparently and meaningfully,” Drake stated. “International standards exist to protect the lives of seafarers, and our precious marine and coastal environments. They are not ‘optional.”

This exclusion commenced on February 15, 2024, and will last for a year.