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IMPROVE CONTAINER STOWAGE, SAYS MAIB REPORT

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published the result of its investigation into an incident in October 2017, when the UK registered container ship 'Ever Smart' suffered a container stow collapse while on passage between Taipei, Taiwan and Los Angeles, USA.

The report says that the master had changed the ship’s passage plan to avoid severe weather caused by a developing depression east of Japan. The ship continued in heavy seas; rolling and pitching heavily with frequent bow flare slamming. Once the weather had abated, the crew discovered that the container stacks on the aft most bay had collapsed and toppled to port. Of the 151 containers in the stow, 42 were lost overboard and 34 were damaged. Superficial damage was caused to the ship.

The report concludes that the loss of the containers most likely occurred during a period of heavy pitching and hull vibration when a combination of factors resulted in a loss of integrity for the whole deck cargo bay; in particular, the containers were not stowed or secured in accordance with the cargo securing manual. In addition, the container lashings might not have been secured correctly. As a result, MAIB has recommended that the shipowner, Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan), improves standards of stowage plans produced ashore, knowledge of the dangers of bow flare slamming and lashing gear maintenance management.

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