Ship breaking

[QUOTE=cmakin;192096]Why would the responsibility fall on the previous owner? This responsibility, in my view falls on the current owner and operator of the scrapyard. . . but they will most likely not be held accountable in Pakistan, or even in India for that matter.[/QUOTE]

I presumed that the yard was the current owner. Is that not the case?

It should fall on the previous owner because they are the ones with the power. You see Maersk, for example, making noises about ensuring that their recycling is done responsibly. The market favors getting the best price for a ship when you sell it to be scrapped. If you then wash your hands of all responsibility, that is a virtual assurance that pollution and human tragedy are going to follow. If no one is responsible for preventing this kind of thing, it will for sure happen over and over again. The previous owner is in the best position to take responsability: they are most aware of the hazards, and most able to mitigate them. Responsible shipbreaking probably shouldn’t be profitable; not if its done right. The owner getting a little bit of money and dusting off their hands while workers burn alive is disgusting.

I feel your pain but what am I missing here? The owner of ship sells it to the scrap yard and the yard now owns it. Their expertise is in breaking it down. How is it the previous owner’s responsibility if the yard neglects to check the status of an empty fuel tank before firing up the torches? There’s gotta be a chapter on this in their Shipbreaking 101 manual.

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;192114]I feel your pain but what am I missing here? The owner of ship sells it to the scrap yard and the yard now owns it. Their expertise is in breaking it down. How is it the previous owner’s responsibility if the yard neglects to check the status of an empty fuel tank before firing up the torches? There’s gotta be a chapter on this in their Shipbreaking 101 manual.[/QUOTE]

The yard is under economic pressure to do things as cheaply as possible. They don’t have any reason to invest in safeguarding their workers. Ship owners should be paying to have their ships recycled, and they should have a stake in making sure that it is done properly. Shipowners own all the other waste that ships produce. They have to pay for spilling oil, pay for disposing of oil properly, pay for emitting poisonous gasses in an unconrolled way, pay for taking care of their gasses properly, pay for throwing their garbage in the sea, pay for disposing of it correctly. They should also have to pay to have their ships disposed of properly, and pay if they are not disposed of properly. The three big shipbreakers in Bangledesh, India, and Pakistan should be inspected facilities. Maybe the ILO needs to sort this out. Its supposed to be a tripartide apparatus of owners, workers, and states, right? Don’t you hate the idea that the ship that has taken care of you, who you took care of, who made a lot of money for a lot of share-holders, who from the time her keel was laid until the time when her last crew signed off was babied and loved and every care was taken to ensure the safety of her crew and the waters where she worked, at the end of her life ruins the lives of 100 poor families? It sticks in my craw, and it makes it seem like all the care and devotion that gets poured into a ship throughout her whole life is betrayed in the end. If we really care about doing things right, this wouldn’t be happening.

[QUOTE=Emrobu;192121]
Don’t you hate the idea that the ship that has taken care of you, who you took care of, who made a lot of money for a lot of share-holders, who from the time her keel was laid until the time when her last crew signed off was babied and loved and every care was taken to ensure the safety of her crew and the waters where she worked, at the end of her life ruins the lives of 100 poor families? [/QUOTE]

What world is that ship working in?

Its a piece of hardware just like a truck or any other tool for Chrissake. When you sell your old junk on Craigslist or eBay do you think you should be responsible for everything that happens to it from then on or for everything that might happen to whoever uses the stuff?

Talk about asking for the ultimate nanny state control over every aspect of your life … geez, man, be very careful about what you ask for … you might just get it.

What’s all this aboot eh?!?!? I almost choked on my Kraft dinner!!!

I need some advice:

What’s the correct tool to use to open up someone’s head and find out what’s wrong with them? Where do I find the trouble shooting tree?

Seriously: what’s wrong with you people? You think this is fine?

(and why is that cop on a sheep? This isn’t Montana, eh?)

[QUOTE=Emrobu;192125]
(and why is that cop on a sheep? This isn’t Montana, eh?)[/QUOTE]

Ah Montana, where men are men and sheep are afraid.

[QUOTE=Emrobu;192125]Seriously: what’s wrong with you people? You think this is fine?[/QUOTE]

no it is not fine but why do you expect industries in the developing third world to practice workplace safety like here in North America or in other first world industrial nations? sorry to tell you but the living and working conditions for a full 2/3 of the planet’s population would be considered animal cruelty here if dogs were involved. the simple fact is that in places like Pakistan there is no workplace safety and the pay given to these men is an abomination, but as long as there are men ready and willing to step up and take the places of those who died then those unsafe conditions and that horrible pay will persist. Do gooders can write all the UN resolutions they want to protect workers or the environment however the forces of M-O-N-E-Y rules the world and as long as that is the case, then what happened like aboard that tanker will never change.

really no different that the sheep in the GoM bending over for Jeaux Bawss.

While I agree that it’s difficult to prevent shipowners from using intermediate buyers to go around international conventions and whatnot on ship recycling, my humble opinion is that Western shipowners should be hit with seven kinds of shit if it can be reliably shown that what they did was done only to go around rules and regulations regarding safe recycling of ships and movement of hazardous waste (which ships are) across borders.

USA, which is a fairly closed market thanks to Jones Act, could adopt similar measures as China where you get “store credit” for selling your ships to Chinese breakers and ordering new vessels from domestic shipyards - something similar to “cash for clunkers”. As we all know, there’s some fairly old tonnage in the US merchant fleet…

Quite curiously, my country used to have a healthy* shipbreaking industry until the economy recovered and our shipowners changed from “last users” of ships into “first users”. Nowadays most ships are sold to second-hand market well before the end of their economical life.

(* Not really. They used to put the ships on fire to get rid of all the wooden parts that didn’t have any recycling value.)

When an owner purchases a new ship they could be made to pay a "deposit " on it, same as a when someone buys a can of soda in some states. Don’t get your deposit back till the ship has been disposed of properly.

.

The Hong Kong convention of 2009 is supposed to ensure safe recycling of ships: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/ShipRecycling/Pages/Default.aspx
As of today only FIVE countries had ratified the Convention: Belgium, Congo, Denmark, France and Norway.

It has thus still not entered into force, but IMO issued Guidelines for early implementation in 2011.
Five recycling yards in India has been certified according to these guidelines, but none in Bangladesh or Pakistan.

Because of the inertia of ratification, EU issued it’s own rules in 2013, but these only applies to ships registered in EU countries: http://www.emsa.europa.eu/implementation-tasks/environment/ship-recycling.html

Since a large part of the world fleet is registered under FOC flag, this does not go far enough. EMSA therefore added:

The Ship Recycling Regulation applies to large commercial seagoing vessels flying the flag of the EU Member State, and to ships flying the flag of a third country calling at EU ports or anchorages.

How this last part can be enforced is a mystery to me.

[QUOTE=c.captain;192127]no it is not fine but why do you expect industries in the developing third world to practice workplace safety like here in North America or in other first world industrial nations? sorry to tell you but the living and working conditions for a full 2/3 of the planet’s population would be considered animal cruelty here if dogs were involved. the simple fact is that in places like Pakistan there is no workplace safety and the pay given to these men is an abomination, but as long as there are men ready and willing to step up and take the places of those who died then those unsafe conditions and that horrible pay will persist. Do gooders can write all the UN resolutions they want to protect workers or the environment however the forces of M-O-N-E-Y rules the world and as long as that is the case, then what happened like aboard that tanker will never change.[/QUOTE]

Oh, now I see what the problem is. You’re J-A-D-E-D. The facts as you present them are mostly right, but the attitude that it can never change never changed anything. The only way to fix jaded is to make yourself powerful.

The best way for an individual to effect change here, I think, is to find out who owned that ship and hoist them up by their own petard.

[QUOTE=KPChief;192126]Ah Montana, where men are men and sheep are afraid.[/QUOTE]

I get your sheep-breaking/ship-breaking joke. Took me a long moment. My sense of humor got shorted out by my sense of outrage.

Ewe like puns, eh?

Sorry. Don’t herd me. Alpaca it in now.

The US government did this in the eighties. They bought up all of the old breakbulk ships and the money was spent on American Flag, foreign built ships. On exception was the SL7’s all eight paid for the 3 Alaskan SL ships. Most of these ships went to reserve fleet, some were used in Gulf War 1 but most have been scrapped.

[QUOTE=Pilot;192140]The US government did this in the eighties. They bought up all of the old breakbulk ships and the money was spent on American Flag, foreign built ships. On exception was the SL7’s all eight paid for the 3 Alaskan SL ships. Most of these ships went to reserve fleet, some were used in Gulf War 1 but most have been scrapped.[/QUOTE]

There is a difference; the Chinese Government does not buy ships and keep them, they subsidize Owners who sell their ships to breakers before a “best by” date, provided they build new more efficient and “cleaner” ships as replacement:

Ship owners such as China COSCO Shipping Co or Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Co are entitled to receive 50 percent of the cash subsidies upon scrapping their vessels and the other 50 percent when a new replacement vessel is built. The owners of all aging ships scrapped between 2013 and 2017 qualify for subsidies.

This serve two purposes; increased maritime safety and less pollution, which is a Chinese priority by necessity.
BTW: Much of the shipping in China is Coastal and on rivers, thus polluting already hard pressed industrial areas along the coast and major rivers.

Link: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-06/13/content_25688020.htm

[QUOTE=Emrobu;192138]Oh, now I see what the problem is. You’re J-A-D-E-D. [/QUOTE]

of course I am…what’s yer pernt?

The facts as you present them are mostly right, but the attitude that it can never change never changed anything. The only way to fix jaded is to make yourself powerful.

I’ll have you know that my attitude is atrocious thank you very much but why doesn’t a young man like you enlighten us old men on attaining power? you have some magic powder to use or something?

The best way for an individual to effect change here, I think, is to find out who owned that ship and hoist them up by their own petard.

and why should we do that? what did the shipowner do which implicates him in some international crime? all he did was to sell off a ship of his to be disposed of. when he does should he be held to demand to know the breaker’s yard his ship was going to was pure as driven snow and sooper dooper safe as well? maybe in Scandinavia but not in the rest of the world

[QUOTE=c.captain;192144]of course I am…what’s yer pernt?

I’ll have you know that my attitude is atrocious thank you very much but why doesn’t a young man like you enlighten us old men on attaining power? you have some magic powder to use or something?[/QUOTE]

My “pernt” is that retreating into your grumpy-old-geezer recliner is throwing away your power. The magic powder is your own autonomy and willingness to do the right thing. Take action in alignment with your own sense of what’s right. You may write me off as an overly idealistic young “man,” but you shouldn’t write yourself off as a bitter old rocking-chair warmer.

all he did was to sell off a ship of his to be disposed of. when he does should he be held to demand to know the breaker’s yard his ship was going to was pure as driven snow and sooper dooper safe as well?

Yes. Exactly my pernt.

According to Vessel Tracker the ship is called Aces (IMO 8021830), and she was sold to Abdul Ghafoor for scrapping. The foreman in charge of the project has been arrested. According to Fleetmon her former owner was V Ships,“the world’s largest technical ship manager.” According to their website:

As part of V.Group’s through-life approach to asset management, V.Ships Ship Management can draw on the expertise of V.Group Marine Services to provide specialist services and tailored solutions for the environmentally sound and socially responsible dismantling of naval ships, commercial vessels and offshore platforms.

Specific services include the production of the inventory of hazardous materials (or IHM) by class approved experts in full compliance with the IMO “Hong Kong Convention” on the dismantling of ships, the production of detailed feasibility studies, the audit of dismantling facilities, the production of detailed recycling plans as well as full project management.

So what went wrong?

No mention of the previous owner being liable. The YARD FOREMAN was arrested though. Ya think maybe HE was the one cutting corners (no pun intended)?
I think you can get a basic gas sniffer for about the same price as a torch kit, no?

[QUOTE=Emrobu;192149]
So what went wrong?[/QUOTE]
The 200 mph maglev train of corporate public image ran smack into the immovable object of economic reality.

In any attempt at public shaming, it will all be revealed to be perfectly legal and that V Ships supports the ship breaking rules such as they are. In fact they will also point out how they comply with MARPOL Annex VI (indeed all of MARPOL) so they are fighting the good fight of keeping the oceans clean every day of the ships life. Soon they will take on an attitude of righteous indignation as they call for tighter rules on the recycling operators themselves. “You see we did everything by the book but the breakers are not holding up their end”. Perhaps they will eventually send bottled water and surplus cheese doodles to the victims with a 10 page, 8-point font, single spaced disclaimer that such water does not constitute any admission of guilt in any existing or future legal action.

Corporate vision statements, mission statements and core values be what they may, in the end they will lack the simple will to act according to those lofty words they probably paid a consultant to craft for them. Only V Ships can answer if their corporate culture and structure is such that living up to their statements is even possible.

There have been attempts to raise the general public awareness of this issue (google ship breaking expose) but the only thing the public seems less interested in than the maritime industry in general is the disposal of ships themselves. Perhaps a reality show or sitcom set in a breaking yard would capture the public’s attention for a little while but whether even that would spur them to action is doubtful as it is (seemingly) so far removed from their every day lives.

I am not advocating for the status quo above. I only feel that this is the present reality. It is a disgraceful situation in many ways but I doubt there is much motivation for ship owners to voluntarily take action to correct it. The idea of a deposit could be fleshed out. Like a per ship capital sinking fund built up over time to cover responsible disposal costs in the future. The funds contributed could be tax free or something. The funds held in escrow so future sales of ships or companies could not raid the funds. Guarantee future contributions by tying it to monitoring and PSC enforcement. No up to date disposal account, no entry or detention. The funds could be paid out only to ship breaking companies that meet certain levels of performance (environmental and worker safety) as certified by IMO or some other group. Maybe it could only work if set up as a non-profit. Multi-national buy in and sponsoring of the yard management/operations. Profits from scrap sales plowed back in to the yard facilities, PPE, equipment etc. Or surplus going to a profit sharing scheme to offset future contributions for ship owners.

You see how big and complex a solution could be? How it would involve international players and governments? How there would be bureaucratic costs and inefficiencies built in to it? Seems a big mess to me. Then again the first step is to admit you have a problem. But I do wish you well on the crusade!