The UK government has released its report into the UK-flagged CMA CGM Washington, which lost 137 containers following the collapse of three container bays in January 2018.
The event in question took place at approximately 0127 on January 20, 2018, when the vessel unexpectedly rolled 20 degrees to starboard, paused for several seconds and rolled 20 degrees to port while on passage from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles, US.
The turbulence was caused by heavy seas in the North Pacific. Bays 54, 58 and 18 collapsed and 137 containers fell overboard. A further 85 containers were damaged.
In its report, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found that the loss of cargo was caused by a number of safety issues, including the reduced structural strength of the “non-standard 53ft containers”, inaccurate container weight declarations, mis-stowed containers and loose lashings.
It recommended that CMA CGM ensure that “where container terminals routinely weigh containers prior to loading, the cargo plan is updated to reflect these weights.”
Container weighing is a considerable health and safety issue for the maritime sector and has been since the MSC Napoli’s accident in 2007.
For more information on that and the implementation of subsequent regulations, read this exclusive PTI Insight: Are VGM demands weighing on ports?
Read the MAIB’s full report on the CMA CGM Washington here.