AMSA: Operators Need to Stow, Secure Cargo Properly

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a new marine notice to remind vessel owners, operators and masters of the need to stow and secure cargo containers in accordance with approved arrangements.

All cargo, whether carried on or under deck, should be stowed and secured in accordance with the vessel’s Cargo Securing Manual as approved under Regulation 5.6 of Chapter VI of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. This includes the manner in which cargo is secured and the weight distribution of cargo within the stow, according to AMSA.

As explained, recent incidents, including the loss of 81 containers from the Liberian flagged cargo ship YM Efficiency off the Australian coast, have shown how failure to comply with approved arrangements can increase the risk of cargo being lost overboard.

AMSA’s Deputy CEO Gary Prosser says that there will be an increased focus on cargo arrangements during future Port State Control (PSC) inspections in Australia.

“We expect cargo to be carried in full compliance with a vessel’s Cargo Securing Manual and the SOLAS Convention,” Prosser said.

“If cargo is found to be stowed incorrectly during an AMSA inspection vessel operators are warned that ships will not leave dock until they are compliant,” he added.