Taiwan-based Well Shipmanagement & Maritime Consultant Company Limited’s bulk carrier, the ‘They asked for wisdom’, has been banned from Australian waters for 90 days due to numerous deficiencies, including a malfunctioning lifeboat engine and defective backup batteries for radio systems. The company has a track record of poor performance and conflicts with security agencies, with its detention rate more than five times the average for ships calling at Australian waters. During an inspection in Geelong on 17 May, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority identified a “plethora” of deficiencies that posed a significant risk to safety and the environment, resulting in the ship’s immediate detention.
According to Michael Drake, AMSA’s executive director of operations, the deficiencies in the ‘They asked for wisdom’ affected the ship’s ability to respond to emergencies such as a man overboard, necessitating the 90-day detention. Over the past three years, regulatory interactions with other vessels operated by Well Shipmanagment have revealed systemic deficiencies and a pattern of unacceptable performance, despite repeated warnings from AMSA to comply with international standards. The agency hopes the ban on the vessel sends a clear signal of its zero-tolerance approach to substandard vessels. This action comes as AMSA cracks down on underperforming operators in the shipping industry.