The Bahamas Maritime Authority highlight the risks associated with in-transit cargo fumigation. The authority’s recommendations are based on the initial findings of an ongoing investigation into a very serious marine casualty.
A malfunction in the fumigation hatch caused an explosion onboard the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier ‘Minoan Glory’ while anchored off Vancouver, in the early afternoon hours of 6 August. There was a lot of sound and fury, but there were no injuries.
As the Swedish Club informs, a bulk carrier had loaded yellow corn in all cargo holds up to the hatch coamings. After the loading, fumigation technicians fumigated the cargo with fumitoxin pellets. A couple of hours later an explosion took place in one of the holds. The fumigant pellets in each hold had not been distributed across the entire cargo surface, or applied to the subsurface.
Fumigants are chemicals which, under certain conditions, will enter a gaseous state and, in sufficient concentration, will be lethal to pest organisms that are considered detrimental for the condition of most grain cargoes. But under which circumstances can fumigation take place?
When a fire breaks out on board a vessel there is no fire service ready to assist in extinguishing it – it is up to the crew themselves. The Swedish P&I Club issued a new guide for quick reference to the causes and prevention of cargo fires and explosion onboard.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a marine notice to highlight the importance of fumigation being undertaken by professionally trained personnel, in line with guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive and the IMO.
The process of cold treatment is a more efficient way to exterminate fruit insects than fumigation, as it maintains a sufficient low temperature for a pre-determined period. UK P&I Club said that has recently seen an increase in refrigerated cargo claims for fresh fruit from S.America to the US, due to cold treatment failure and presents prevention solutions.
North P&I Club has published a new loss prevention briefing warning operators of the hazards associated with routine fumigation of agricultural products on ships and advises on measures to be taken in order to ensure safe process.
North P&I Club has published a new loss prevention briefing warning operators of the hazards associated with routine fumigation of agricultural products on ships.The warning follows an explosion of pesticide gases on a panamax vessel, loading corn at Paranagua, Brazil, at the end of December 2015. This resulted in significant structural damage and was one of number of similar incidents reported during the last five years in Brazil and the USA.
The Skuld P&I Club has issued a loss prevention advisory to recommend a preferred method to fumigate grain cargoes originating from US Gulf ports.
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