Stowage Issues Cited in Ever Smart Container Loss

A combination of factors including stowage deficiencies likely led to the loss of containers from the U.K.-flagged containership Ever Smart off the coast if Japan in 2017, according to U.K. investigators.

On October 30, 2017, the 300-meter, 7,024 TEU-capacity containership suffered a container stow collapse during a period of heavy pitching and hull vibration while on passage between Taipei, Taiwan and Los Angeles, U.S. 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.

A report published by the U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch on Wednesday points to a combination of factors that resulted in a loss of integrity for the whole deck cargo bay. I 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, investigators found.

The agency has recommended to Ever Smart’s operator Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd to improve standards of stowage plans produced ashore, knowledge of the dangers of bow flare slamming and lashing gear maintenance management.

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