Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Following a complex and wide-ranging investigation, the MAIB found that the failure to the hull in the region of the ship's engine room was due to the vessel's design rather than her material condition or construction. The MAIB concluded that this, along with the ship's speed and her loading, had caused the vessel to break her back as she headed directly into high seas. It has therefore recommended a review of the technical rules used in container ship design.
As part of the on-going investigation the MAIB identified that container ships of similar design could potentially have the same design flaw and have identified that out of 1500 vessels screened, 12 require work to bring them up to acceptable safety standards.
Stephen Meyer, Chief Inspector of the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch, said:
"The MAIB has worked closely with the world's leading classification societies to identify any other vessels that may have the same design flaw as the MSC Napoli. Out of 1500 vessels screened 12 required structural work; until such work can be completed, their safety will be ensured through operational limitations.
I am very pleased that, at the request of the MAIB, the International Chamber of Shipping and the World Shipping Council have already started work on the development of a Code of Best Practice for the container ship industry. This work will take into account the lessons identified by the MAIB investigation and should lead to a much safer industry."
The MAIB has made a series of recommendations to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to improve the current technical rules regarding container ship design, and to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the owners of the vessel Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd to make the operation of container ships safer.