After examining all the details in
connection with Maersk Honam tragic fire accident despite meeting out the
requirements of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, Maersk, after
all out efforts to understand the dangerous cargo stowage has completed
implementation of new guidelines that aims at improving safety across its
container vessel fleet.
Maersk actually evaluated more than 3,000
United Nations numbers of hazardous materials to arrive at the new set of
principles on risk-based dangerous goods stowage, the company has said.
“All cargo aboard Maersk Honam was
accepted as per the requirements of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods
Code and stowed onboard the vessel accordingly. Despite this, as the fire
originated in a cargo hold in front of the accommodation which held several
containers with dangerous goods, it had an unbearably tragic outcome,” said Ole
Graa Jakobsen, head of fleet technology at Maersk.
“This clearly showed us that the
international regulations and practices with regard to dangerous goods stowage
needed to be reviewed in order to optimally protect crew, cargo, environment
and vessels,”Jakobsen said.
The Maersk Honam crew
managed to release the ship’s CO2 system into the cargo hold, but that did not
stop the fire. Maersk
Honam was carrying dangerous goods in the cargo hold where
the fire originated; however, at this time there is no evidence to suggest that
dangerous goods caused the fire, the company said.
Five crew members died as a result of the
Maersk said cargo covered under the
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code will no longer be stowed next to
accommodations and the main propulsion plant, which is defined as the zone with
the lowest risk tolerance. Similarly, risk tolerance will be low below deck and
in the middle of the vessel, whereas the risk tolerance will be higher on deck
fore and aft. Utilizing statistics on container fires in the Cargo Incident
Notification System, Maersk defined which U.N. numbers can be stored in each
Maersk will continue to review its
rules and policies for accepting dangerous goods.
“We aim for long term improvements by
reviewing our systems and then designing an end-to-end process that is safe for
our seafarers and smooth for our customers,”Jakobsen said.
In the coming months, a review
aimed at creating best management practices for dangerous goods stowage will be
undertaken with participation from ABS, Lloyds Register, the International
Group of PandI Clubs, National Cargo Bureau, the TT Club and Exis Technologies.
Once the project is completed, the best practices will be published and
presented to the International Maritime Organization.