More fatalities at shipbreaking yards

Between April and June 2017 there were five accidents resulting in four fatalities at shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform reports these figures from a total of 210 ships broken in the first quarter of 2017, with 158 ending up at South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking.

Accidents involving cables, iron plates and pipes, and workers falling were all causes of fatalities. Working without protective equipment in Chittagong is a serious issue and has led to a number of previous fatalities reports the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

German ships are the worst offenders according to the platform. Bankruptcies and toxic financing in the German shipping industry have led to 16 German ships becoming beached on Bangladesh yards, with very poor conditions.

Singapore, Greece and South Korea have also made top of the list as the worst dumping nations.

Image courtesy of NGO Shipbreaking Platform

In its quarterly update, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform reports that Flags of Convenience are used by cash buyers and shipowners to send ships to the worst breaking locations. Nearly a third of ships sent to South Asia this quarter changed flag to typical end-of-life registries just weeks before they were dumped on beaches.  For instance, St Kitts & Nevis, Comoros, Palau, Djibouti, Niue and Togo are not often used as flags throughout a ship’s life but offer last voyage registration discounts to shipowners. They come under the grey and black lists as they have poor implementation of international maritime law.

For more information see the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s quarterly update.


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