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The Sinking Of M/T Erika: Erika Casulaty

1601 words - 6 pages

Based on the review of the CEPM Report released, regarding the sinking of M/T ERIKA. Some miles south of the coast of Brittany, it has been noted that the ship-owner and the ship-manager of the vessel having the responsibility for the maintenance of the ship, relied on the inspection procedure of vessel’s classification society. Moreover, it is evident that vessel’s classification society was not able to effectively monitor the deteriorating structural condition of the vessel. Even though some areas of concern have been identified and inadequate mitigating measures have been taken.

At this point, we have to note the ship-manager’s lack or ineffective preventive maintenance procedures which should be in place in order to identify the problematic areas concerning the structural integrity of the vessel and adequate corrective actions should be taken prior the escalation of the problem. In addition the ship-owner and ship-manager since they were aware of the condition of the ship and based on past incidents involving sister vessels like M/T ERIKA, they should have utilized a more effective and elaborated preventive maintenance procedure including visits from superintends at predetermined-frequent intervals and not upon vessel’s dry-docking periods only.

Ship-owners and ship managers should not rely on the classification societies for managing their risks. The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) state that the certificate of class is not an evidence providing proof regarding the seaworthiness of the vessel (IACS, n.d).In addition to the above the classification society surveyor will attend the ship on an average of once per year were the attending class surveyor will perform a sample inspection of the structure and machinery equipment of the vessel and as it is stated it is not possible to inspect every single area or equipment of the ship (IACS, n.d.).

Therefore, according to IACS (n.d.) the ship-owner and ship manager is responsible for the safety of the vessel who they have to establish cooperation with the classification society addressing and reporting all issues which may affect the class status and seaworthiness of the ship.

In view of the above and following the requirements of the ISM code (2010, p.10), ship-owning and ship-managing companies are entitled to produce and follow documented procedures including the maintenance of their ships and ensure overall safe operation.

2. What were the significant risk management issues in this incident for the following stakeholders?
• Vessel Owner

As mentioned in the report (CEPM, n.d) the ship-owner was mainly occupied with the administrative, financial, commercial and legal proceedings of the vessel.

However, as previously mentioned by my classmates the owner concern is to safeguard their asset which in this case is the vessel. Therefore, the ship-owner ought to exercise due diligence for the appointment of the technical management of the ship,...

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