Summary Report of Cargo Vessel Sheng Li of Jamin Marine Transport Co., Ltd. Occurrence Investigation
The cargo vessel Sheng Li (hereinafter referred to as the vessel) owned by Jamin Marine Transport Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Jamin) left Longmen Jianshan Port, Penghu County at 12:05 on August 1, 2019, destined for Budai Port, Chiayi County. The crew on board the vessel consisted of a captain and 6 crew members. The vessel was loaded with general cargos, scrap iron, and more than ten empty containers. The vessel came into Budai Port at the lowest tide of the day at 15:10. Due to the insufficient under keel clearance, the vessel was stranded and abandoned.
According to the Republic of China （ROC） Transportation Occurrence Investigation Act and the relevant content of the Casualty Investigation Code of the International Maritime Organization, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board （TTSB）, an independent transportation occurrence investigation agency, is responsible for conducting the investigation. The investigation team also included members from Maritime and Port Bureau, MOTC, South Maritime Affairs Center, Budai District Office, Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd. and Jamin Marine Transport Co., Ltd.
The draft “Final Report” of the occurrence investigation was completed in December 2019. In accordance with the procedure, it was reviewed at 8th Board Meeting of TTSB’s on February 7th, 2020 and sent to relevant organizations and authorities for comments. After comments were collected and integrated, the Final Report was reviewed and approved by TTSB’s 12th Board Meeting on June 5th, 2020. The Final Report was published on June 18th, 2020.
There are a total of 5 findings from the Final Report and 3 safety recommendations issued to the related organizations.
Findings related to probable causes:
At the time of the accident, the Budai Management Office has just completed the establishment of the port monitoring system, but has not established a ship control mechanism and policies, and did not control the vessel coming into the port during the period of the lowest tide at the maximum high tide of the year, so the vessel was stranded due to insufficient under keel clearance.
Findings related to risks:
- Because of the drastic changes in water depth after dredging, the information about channel water depth released by the Budai Management Office was not accurate enough as a reference for sailing ships.
- Jamin did not comply with Article 4 of the “Regulations Governing Safe Operation and Pollution Prevention of Vessels”. Under the provisions, when performing safety management tasks the safety management agencies shall work towards the following goals:
- Provide a safe operating system and a safe working environment for ship operations.
(2) Assess the hazards to ship navigation and life safety, prevent ship pollution, and adopt appropriate preventive measures.
(3) Improve the safety management skills of safety management agencies and ship personnel, including preparations for ship navigation, safety of life, and prevention of ship pollution emergencies.
- The depth of water on the north side of the channel in Budai Port is deeper than that of the south side. Although the captain has taken measures to sail close to the north side, the ship was still stranded.
- A variety of factors have caused difficulties for dredging the channel and the silting has become increasingly serious. The Budai Management Office plans to find a more suitable dredging method to solve the problem.
- Safety Recommendations
To Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd.
- In the case where the depth of water in the channel cannot be effectively maintained, Article 33 of the Commercial Port Law shall be implemented and effectively enforced. For vessels constrained by her draft or with risk of grounding, vessel entry and exit controls shall be implemented at the lowest tide.
- Adopt effective method for dredging channel, so that the dredging channel project can be effectively carried out continually to avoid similar accidents from happening again.
To Jamin Marine Transport Co., Ltd.
- Improve the management of the fleet, and advocate the necessity of taking a conservative attitude and making safety the priority during the period of the lowest tide at the maximum high tide of the year, and then proceed to come into the port after the lowest tide period has passed.
Full Final Report is in Chinese only and available for download at https://www.ttsb.gov.tw
Sherry Liu, Safety Investigator