Container ship prohibited from entering Australian waters due to significant safety and maintenance concerns

M/V Big Lily. Photo courtesy Australia Maritime Safety Authority
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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has placed a 90-day ban on the Marshall Islands-flagged container ship Big Lilly due to significant safety and maintenance issues. The vessel was detained in Melbourne after an inspection revealed serious deficiencies, including problems with cargo hatches, the main engine, and safety equipment. The defects posed a risk to the crew and the Australian coastal environment. AMSA stated that while the crew had made efforts to maintain the ship, they did not receive sufficient support from the ship’s management to comply with international standards. This is the second time this year that Big Lilly has been detained, with the vessel’s operator, V Ships Greece, being identified as underperforming.

AMSA emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating that the maintenance of vessels is the responsibility of ship operators and that failure to do so can have detrimental consequences. The ban is meant to send a strong signal that AMSA has a zero-tolerance approach to operators who allow their vessels to deteriorate. This is the third ban imposed by AMSA this year due to maintenance issues, as the authority cracks down on poor performers in the shipping industry. Last year, AMSA issued a Marine Notice to provide guidance on scheduled ship maintenance, so ship operators have no excuse for not maintaining their vessels.

Overall, AMSA’s ban on the Big Lilly container ship highlights the authority’s commitment to ensuring the safety and environmental protection of Australia’s waters. By targeting poor performers in the shipping industry, AMSA aims to improve standards and prevent accidents or damage caused by poorly maintained vessels. The authority places the responsibility on ship operators to properly maintain their vessels, and failure to do so can result in severe consequences. With the increasing focus on safety and maintenance compliance, ship operators must prioritize the upkeep of their vessels to avoid penalties and potential harm to crew members and the environment.

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