Oman-bound 375-ton column falls of bulker Mask in the Adriatic Sea

Image: FHP

A 375-ton column has fallen off its bulk carrier while travelling from the port of Marghera, near Venice to Oman on January 24. The accident occurred off the Italian Adriatic shore near Ancona, in central-eastern Italy. The cargo was sailing on deck of Mask, a 27,900 ton bulk carrier.

First speculations from sources quoted by Shipping Italy claim that one of the causes of the accident was the enourmous weight of the equipment. Other than the massive columns, the ship was loaded with five other columns weighing 145 tons each as well as some relative accessories. The excessive weight might have compromised the load securing systems, leading to the column falling in the sea.

A controversial incident

Other sources reportedly claimed that the load absorbers installed were damaged, causing a progressive failure of the lashing systems and the consequent fall of the load. Moreover, Mask is not specialised for the transportation of exceptional parcels. FHP, the company operating the terminal in Marghera, claimed that securing operations were carried out by personnel on board the ship with the involvement of external suppliers.

The ship had been checked at the port of Marghera by the Port State Control, who found four deficiencies concerning safety on board. Moreover, the other parties involved in the shipment were informed of the accident only a couple of days after it had occurred. The bulk carrier is owned by Panamanian shipowner Mask Maritime Enterprise Group and managed by the Greek Onyx Shipping. The column is now irrecuperable.

Author: Marco Raimondi

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