The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued its most severe banning to date to the master and operator of the Marshall Islands-flagged livestock carrier Barkly Pearl on Thursday, January 7.
Barkly Pearl was initially spotted on November 3, 2020, travelling through Australia’s northern waters 120 kilometres off the coast with a large hole in its hull.
Due to concerns over the structural integrity of the vessel, the potential threat of pollution to the marine environment and the immediate risk to the seafarers’ safety, AMSA issued an intervention direction instructing the vessel to the nearest safe harbour at Geraldton.
For the past two months, AMSA ship inspectors worked with the vessel owners and operators to develop an appropriate repair solution. On Thursday, Barkly Pearl was loaded onto the semi-submersible heavy load carrier Falcon to safely depart from Australian waters.
Before it could depart Australian waters, Barkly Pearl was issued with a refusal of access direction notice, under the Navigation Act 2012.
AMSA’s General Manager Operations, Allan Schwartz, said this means Barkly Pearl is banned from entering or using an Australia port for 24 months.
“The Australian community expects that any vessel operating or travelling through our waters is seaworthy,” Mr Schwartz commented. “Consequently, when vessels are found to be so poorly maintained, AMSA will not hesitate to use the suite of powers available to it.”
Mr Schwartz added that the owners and operators of Barkly Pearl were negligent in their maintenance of the vessel, put the lives of the seafarers on board at risk and posed an immediate threat to Australia’s marine environment. As a result, AMSA has determined that Barkly Pearl should be banned for two years.
Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.