West P&I Club issued an alert focusing on the dangers of carrying iron ore fines from Pepel, Sierra Leone.
It is known that iron ore fines are of increasing concern, particularly shipments from Sierra Leone arising from a phased restart of iron mines in the region and with vessels loading such cargoes in the port of Pepel.
Following the above, the alert notes all the necessary measures to ensure the safe carriage of iron ore fines from Pepel, Sierra Leone,
Operators who plan to fix or charter a ship to load iron ore fines from this port, or where under an existing fixture a ship is ordered to load such cargo, must contact the Managers at the earliest opportunity and, where possible, provide the following information:
- Ship name
- Port/anchorage of loading and estimated time of arrival
- Date of intended loading
- Charterer/shipper’s details
- Agent’s details
- Copy of the shipper’s cargo declaration and supporting certificates
According to the club, these measures may reduce the risks inherent in the carriage of iron ore fines cargoes from this port but are not a guarantee of safety.
If the Master is in any doubt whatsoever as regards to the suitability and safety of the cargo, loading must be
stopped. In fact, operators should contact the Managers immediately. Problems are likely to arise if the loading of unsafe cargo is permitted. It may, for example, be difficult to discharge the cargo due to the lack of facilities in the loading port or complications arising from local customs regulations.
…West P&I concluded.
Overall, operators should be aware that they may be prejudicing Club cover if they fail to notify the Managers that they planto fix or charter a ship, or that a ship has been ordered, to load iron ore fines from Pepel, Sierra Leone.
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