New evidence has emerged on the cause of the container collapse on the ONE-operated Madrid Bridge, which has the dubious honor of being the first container overboard incident of 2022.
An initial investigation reveals that the vessel had begun sailing south of the Azores in the mid-Atlantic on January 2 to delay its arrival in New York Harbor.
However, on January 7, a large swell, coupled with 22-knot winds, hit the drifting vessel causing a major capsize, resulting in the collapse of the containers. A total of 65 containers were lost overboard and another 89 were damaged.
The 13,900 teu vessel was part of THE Alliance EC4 service between Asia and the U.S. East Coast via Suez, along with 11 other vessels of similar size.
The Madrid Bridge has now arrived at Charleston’s newly opened Hugh K Leatherman terminal, where damaged containers and cargo booked for the port are being unloaded.
Meanwhile, in another case of lost containers, prosecutors in Australia have proceeded with criminal charges against the master of the APL England, which lost 50 containers overboard near Sydney in May 2020, with another 63 damaged.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) originally intended to charge the master, Mohammed Zulkhaili Bin Alias, with marine pollution, but has since amended to operating an unseaworthy vessel.
An AMSA inspection shortly after the incident found that cargo lashing devices were “inadequate” and that container securing points on deck were “badly corroded.”
AMSA’s chief operating officer, Allan Schwartz, said, “These findings are a clear breach of the SOLAS requirement to ensure that a ship and its equipment are maintained in a manner that does not pose a risk to the safety of the ship itself or any person on board.”