INVESTIGATION INTO HIGH LIVESTOCK MORTALITY MV BECRUX. Voyage of 8 June to 14 July 2002

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1 INVESTIGATION INTO HIGH LIVESTOCK MORTALITY MV BECRUX Voyage of 8 June to 14 July 2002

2 CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION THE INVESTIGATION SHIP S PARTICULARS THE VOYAGE Sequence of Events Mortalities Timing, Conditions and Location of Cattle Mortalities Timing, Conditions and Location of Sheep Mortalities COMPLIANCE WITH MO Possession of a Valid ACCL (Provision 10.1 of MO 43) Pre-Loading Inspection (Provision 7.1 of MO 43) Livestock Services (Provision 12 and Appendix 4 of MO 43) Main Source of Electrical Power (2.1 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Secondary Source of Electrical Power (2.2 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Ventilation System (3 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Fresh Water Supplies (7 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Fodder Supplies (7 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Lighting (4 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Effluent Removal Systems (6 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Non-Slip Surface in Pens (22.3 and 26.6 of MO 43) Safety Management System (10.5(b) of MO 43) Documented Maintenance Programme (Provision (c) of MO 43) SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS CONCLUSIONS GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The new purpose built livestock carrier Becrux loaded a cargo of sheep and cattle at Portland and Fremantle for the Middle East ports of Dammam, Saudi Arabia and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, in June During the course of its maiden voyage, the ship s master reported the deaths of 614 of the 1995 cattle (30.78%) and 1418 of the sheep (2.24%). These levels of mortality are greater than the reportable mortality limits within provision 40 of Marine Order Part 43 Cargo and Cargo Handling - Livestock ( MO 43 ). Two AMSA surveyors conducted an investigation into the mortality in accordance with provision 40.2 of MO 43. The AMSA surveyors boarded the Becrux at Portland on 25 July 2002 on its return to Australia. The investigation focused on the provisions of MO 43 for which AMSA has regulatory responsibility, that is, aspects of the ship surveyed for the issue of an Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock ( ACCL ). The investigation also considered the voyage from an operational perspective to determine whether any action taken may have affected the safety of the ship, its officers and crew, or the live animal cargo on board. The following conclusions relevant to AMSA s functions were reached: 1. The ship complied with all of the requirements for the issue or re-issue of an Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock and there was no objection on the part of AMSA to Becrux continuing to operate in the Australian livestock export trade. 2. No failure or shortcoming in the ship s livestock services materially contributed to the mortality rate on the subject voyage. 3. Better communications between the ship s master and crew and the personnel caring for the livestock about proposed livestock movements during the voyage would have allowed improved planning for these cargo operations in line with the ship s safety management system. Other issues identified relating to the selection, preparation and management of the welfare of the livestock on board for which AMSA does not have statutory responsibility have been referred to AQIS and LiveCorp. An oral report was provided to the Chief Marine Surveyor in accordance with provision 40.5 of MO 43. In summary, the oral report was that the ship and its systems for the provision of livestock services had been examined and found to be satisfactory. As a result, the Chief Marine Surveyor lifted the prohibition on subsequent loading in accordance with provision 40.6 of MO 43. This report sets out the basis for the oral report. 3

4 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 The newly built dedicated livestock carrier Becrux loaded a cargo of sheep and cattle at Portland and Fremantle for the Middle East ports of Dammam, Saudi Arabia and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, in June During the course of this, its maiden voyage, the ship s master reported the deaths of 614 of the 1995 cattle (30.78%) and 1418 of the sheep (2.24%). 1.3 Following receipt of this information, on 17 July 2002 AMSA placed a prohibition on the further loading of this ship at any Australian port pending the outcome of an investigation in accordance with provision 40.3 of MO Provision 40 of MO 43 is reproduced below: 40 Livestock mortality Definitions for Provision 40: mortality means, in respect of any species, the percentage determined by dividing the number of deaths of that species occurring while on the ship (including during loading and unloading) by the total number of that species loaded and multiplying the resultant figure by 100; reportable level means, in respect of any species, the percentage shown in Table 9, or three animals, whichever is greater; Table 9 Sheep and goats 2 per cent Cattle, voyages 10 days 1 per cent Cattle, voyage < 10 days 0.5 per cent 40.1 If at any time during the voyage (including any time after arrival of the ship at the destination port during which livestock remains on board) the mortality of any one species is equal to or greater than the reportable level, the master must immediately furnish a report by the most expedient means of communication available, to the Chief Marine Surveyor notifying: (a) the mortality; (b) actors that may have caused deaths in the livestock; (c) the current location of the ship and, if appropriate, its destination and estimated time of arrival; and (d) the date of the expected next arrival of the ship in Australia. This is a penal provision If the mortality of any one species is equal to or greater than the reportable mortality, a surveyor must carry out an investigation into the cause or causes of the deaths and as soon as practicable make a report to the Chief Marine Surveyor. 4

5 40.3 The Chief Marine Surveyor may prohibit or impose conditions on the loading of livestock on a ship in respect of which an investigation is being, or has been, carried out under The master of the ship must comply with a prohibition or condition imposed under This is a penal provision After the report of an investigation has been completed, the Chief Marine Surveyor must, as soon as practicable, determine whether circumstances exist that warrant action being taken under 10.7 for the suspension of the ship s Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock If satisfied that circumstances do not exist that warrant action being taken under 10.7 for the suspension of the Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock, the Chief Marine Surveyor is to lift any prohibition or remove any conditions on loading of livestock. 1.5 This report records the investigation and the oral report made to the Chief Marine Surveyor in accordance with provision 40.2 of MO The manner in which the MO 43 requirements for reporting to AMSA was fulfilled is immaterial to the cause of mortality and will be pursued by AMSA separately from this report. 2.0 THE INVESTIGATION 2.1 AMSA surveyors conducted this investigation on return of Becrux to Portland on July 2002, in conjunction with enquiries being undertaken by representatives of AQIS and LiveCorp. 2.2 The ship and its systems for the provision of livestock services were examined to review the ship s voyage from an operational perspective to determine whether any actions taken may have jeopardised the ship, its officers and crew, or the live animal cargo on board. 2.3 Other issues identified relating to the selection, preparation and management of the welfare of the livestock on board for which AMSA does not have statutory responsibility have been referred to AQIS and LiveCorp. 3.0 SHIP S PARTICULARS 3.1 Becrux is a new purpose built livestock carrier constructed by Uljanik Shipyard in Croatia. Whilst the keel was laid in 2000 the ship had just entered service and this was her first loaded voyage. Becrux is owned by Sussex Shipping Inc and operated by Accord Ship Management (Pvt) Ltd of India. 5

6 The ship's details are as follows: IMO Number Flag Panama Gross Tonnage Length m Beam 31.1 m Year of Construction 2000 Call Sign HOAB 3.2 At the time the ship was ordered and in response to a request from the ship s owners, AMSA delegated the survey functions under Marine Order Part 43 Cargo and Cargo Handling Livestock to the classification society Registro Italiano Navale (RINA). These functions were subsequently carried out by RINA under the supervision of AMSA, resulting in the issue to the ship of Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock (ACCL) No. OT/0134 dated 17 June This ACCL was the subject of a Modification of Provisions issued under 5 of MO43 in relation to a limited number of minor non-conformities with the detailed requirements of the Marine Order. 3.3 The Record of Equipment accompanying the ship s ACCL shows the following total pen areas for the carriage of livestock: Max Cattle Area (gross) m 2 Net Cattle Area m 2 Max Sheep Area (gross) m 2 Net Sheep Area m THE VOYAGE 4.1 The voyage commenced in Portland, Victoria. In accordance with the requirements of MO 43, the vessel had completed a preloading inspection in Fremantle on 9 June 2002 prior to proceeding to Portland 4.2 Commencing 14 June 2002 and as indicated in the master s report, the ship loaded 1752 cattle in Portland, made up of 1244 bulls and 508 steers, together with sheep. A further 243 bulls and sheep were loaded at Fremantle on 18 June. Cattle shipped from Portland were entirely of Bos Taurus breed, whereas some Bos Indicus cattle were included in the Fremantle shipment. The entire cargo was due for discharge in a series of Persian Gulf ports, the first of which was Dammam in Saudi Arabia. 4.3 Included in the ship s complement for the voyage were a veterinary officer engaged by the exporter with responsibility for monitoring the sheep carried under the Saudi Livestock Export Programme, a stockman accredited by LiveCorp as a Competent Stock Person in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Livestock Export Standards (ALES) for cattle exports by sea and a stockman engaged by the exporter. 6

7 4.4 Figure 1 shows the ship s simplified loading plan upon departure from Fremantle. Deck 9 Deck 8 Deck 7 Deck 6 B Wethers Wethers Wethers Rams Ram Hoggets Wethers Damaras Ewes Lambs Wethers Ewes head (sheep) head (sheep) head (sheep) head (sheep) Deck 5 Wethers 8349 head (sheep) Deck 4 Wethers 5507 head (sheep) Deck 3 Deck 2 Wethers Steers (aft) Bulls Steers 3645 head (sheep) 276 head (cattle) 245 head (cattle) 229 head (cattle) Deck 1 Bulls 563 head (cattle) Figure 1: Simplified load plan ex-fremantle 4.5 Information obtained from various sources during this investigation has indicated some minor differences in the exact numbers and distribution of the cargo, but these have had no material effect on the severity of the incident or the investigation outcomes. 4.6 Sequence of Events The sequence of events was determined from information provided by AQIS, LiveCorp, the Exporter, the RSPCA and the ship s master and crew to AMSA as well as the Master s Report Carriage of Livestock sequential numbers 5282 and 5281 and the ship s Log Book. Except where otherwise noted all times are given as local time. 14 Jun 2002, 0805 Vessel berthed alongside at Portland No 6 and had commenced loading livestock. Cattle initially followed by sheep. 14 Jun 2002, 2215 Completed loading. Last line cast off at 2327 vessel proceeding to Fremantle. 16 Jun 2002, 0400 Rising seas reported in position 37º 07.4S 131º 10.0E. Log report for 0400 indicated rough seas and heavy swell but indicated vessel rolling and pitching moderately. Rough seas continued to be reported in the log until about 2000 on 16 June

8 18 Jun 2002, 0024 Rising seas reported in position 31º 21.2S 114º 48.5E. Log report for 0001 indicated rough seas and heavy swell but indicated vessel rolling and pitching moderately. Rough seas continued to be reported until the vessel arrived in Fremantle. 18 Jun 2002, 1126 Vessel alongside in Fremantle harbour. Loading of livestock and fodder commenced at One cattle death and 188 sheep deaths (0.30% mortality) recorded in the master s report to this date. 18 Jun 2002, 1930 Completed loading. Last line cast off at 2309 vessel proceeding to Dammam. 23 Jun 2002, 0500 Commenced wash down of after part of deck 3 (aft hold) and decks 1 and 2 aft hold. Two pens of cattle on decks 1 and 2 emptied to deck 6 and cattle circulated through cleaned pens. On completion cattle from deck 6 return to decks 1 and 2 respectively. Cattle were not washed down. 24 Jun 2002, 0500 Commenced wash down of decks 1 and 2 fwd hold. No cattle moved and dung washed from under the cattle. Cattle were not washed down. Equator report sent on this day indicated Wether A mortality running at 1.66% and Wether B mortality running at 2.0%. LiveCorp stockman s report indicated 7 cattle deaths to this date. Master s report states 6 cattle deaths (0.3% of 1995 head) and 874 sheep deaths (1.38%) occurred up until this date. 25 Jun 2002, 0800 Commenced transfer of cattle from decks 1, 2 and 3 up to deck 6. Sheep from deck 6 were moved to decks 1 and 2 once these had been cleaned. In the interim they were held in passageways on deck six. Transfer took place with 2 to 3 pens at a time being moved. The stockman indicated that this was to improve ventilation. Bosun indicated work was complete at 2200 on that day but transfer was not complete 26 Jun 2002, 0800 Continued transfer of cattle from decks 1, 2 and 3 up to deck 6 (and some to deck 7) and sheep down to decks 1 and 3. Work completed at 0200 on 27 June Bosun indicated crew involvement in shift was completed on this day however veterinarian and stockman continued shifting livestock up until 28 June Jun 2002, 0831 Stockman s report sent from the ship at this time indicated the high mortality trigger in table 9 of MO43 had been reached. This report indicated an increase of 19 head since the 24 th of June to a total of 26 cattle deaths (1.3% of 1995 head). Master s report states 25 cattle deaths and 1035 sheep deaths (1.63%) occurred up until this date. 8

9 28 Jun 2002, 0901 Last stockman s report sent from ship to exporter. All further communications were conducted by telephone to the exporter using INMARSAT. This report indicated an increase in mortality of just 3 head since 27 June to a total of 29 cattle deaths (1.45% of 1995 head). Master s report states 28 cattle deaths and 1080 sheep deaths (1.70%) occurred up until this date. According to veterinarians final report shifting of livestock was completed late on this day. 29 Jun 2002, 1915 Vessel altered course to approach Straits of Hormuz. 30 Jun 2002, 0001 Vessel commenced transit of the Straits of Hormuz to enter the Persian Gulf. 30 Jun 2002, ---- Master s report states 127 cattle (6.37% of 1995 head) deaths and 1167 sheep deaths (1.84%) occurred up until 30 June. 30 Jun 2002, late PM According to report from exporter vessel reported that 100 carcasses had been removed and a further 100 head were dead. 01 Jul 2002, 0442 Vessel arrived alongside in Dammam berth No 11. Discharge of sheep commenced at 1600, no cattle were discharged. According to veterinarians final report 288 head of cattle had died up to 0600 on 1 July Jul 2002, 1237 EST AMSA informed by fax from LiveCorp that 200 deaths had occurred onboard Becrux. 02 Jul 2002, 2000 Completed discharge of sheep in Dammam but vessel remained alongside. 03 Jul 2002, 1232 Vessel departed from Dammam enroute for Fujairah. Master s report indicates that up until 4July sheep deaths had occurred (1.98%) and 380 cattle deaths had occurred (19.05% of 1995 head). 06 Jul 2002, 1848 Vessel alongside at Fujairah. Discharge of 3000 sheep and 1037 cattle commenced at Jul 2002, 1200 Completed discharge in Fujairah. Vessel departed for Doha at It was reported that 95 head of cattle retained onboard. Master s report indicated that up until the departure 1320 sheep deaths had occurred (2.08%) and 564 cattle deaths had occurred (28.27% of 1995 head). 08 Jul 2002, 1650 Vessel alongside at Doha. Discharge of sheep commenced at Jul 2002, 1955 Completed discharge in Doha. Vessel remained alongside overnight. 10 Jul 2002, 0600 Vessel departed from Doha for Muscat. 9

10 11 Jul 2002, 1027 Vessel alongside at Muscat. Discharge of sheep and 44 cattle commenced at Remaining 51 cattle reported as destroyed between Fujairah and Muscat. 11 Jul 2002, 2115 Completed discharge. Vessel departed from Muscat at Mortalities Table 1 provides the total livestock loaded in Australia from the two masters reports submitted to AMSA. Animal Type Sheep Number Loaded Wethers Rams 2268 Ram Hogget - Lambs 506 Ewes 7020 Damaras 1436 Total Sheep Cattle Bulls 1487 Steers 508 Total Cattle 1995 Table 1: Number and type of livestock loaded Table 2 provides a break-down of the number of cattle loaded and port of load as compared to the outturn at discharge as provided by the exporter. Load and Discharge Animal Type Activity Bulls Steers Total Loaded Loaded in Portland Loaded in Fremantle Total Loaded Discharged in Fujairah Discharged in Muscat Total Discharged Mortality Number Percentage 27.30% 40.94% 30.78% Table 2: Level of Mortality and distribution by Cattle type. 10

11 4.7.3 Table 3 provides information regarding the number of sheep loaded and discharged by port and respective morality. Load and Discharge Activity Number Total Portland Loaded Fremantle Dammam Fujairah 3000 Discharged Doha Muscat Number 1437 Mortality Percentage 2.27% Table 3: Sheep Loaded and Level of Mortality The shortfall shown in the master s report between those loaded and those discharged was 1437 head, although a sheep mortality of 1418 head was declared elsewhere. As this discrepancy is relatively minor and the documentation appears to support the exporter s and master s figures, these are used in this report as the basis of determining the level of sheep mortality The master s report submitted under provision 40.1 of MO 43 indicates that the master considered the cattle mortality to be due to the type of animals and environmental conditions. No similar report was submitted for sheep. 4.8 Timing, Conditions and Location of Cattle Mortalities Cattle mortalities occurred mainly on deck 6. Table 4 shows the reported cattle mortalities for the voyage as indicated in the master s report. The table does not cover the period post Fujairah where the majority of the cattle were discharged. In addition, the single reported total of 253 for 1 to 4 July has been spread over the four days. Day 1 is 15 June Table 4 also shows a steady increase in the reported mortality occurring from 26 June 2002 (day 12). Becrux entered the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz very early in the morning of 30 June 2002 (day 16), by which point over 200 cattle had died according to the veterinarian s report and information supplied by the exporter. Both parties concluded that the sudden rise was due to the temperature and humidity experienced on entering the Gulf The temperature and humidity reading provided in the master s report was found to be an amalgam of figures which did not correspond to a true temperature and relative humidity calculation. The bridge readings were based on a wet and dry bulb mounted directly on the bridge side bulkhead, which was not fitted with a Stevenson screen and hence may have been affected by local conditions at the measurement point. The investigators considered that the hand written mortality book provided the best evidence available in regards to the conditions in the livestock space. This information was derived from a number of readings taken on each deck although the original chits were not available. Table 4 provides the relationship 11

12 between the conditions on decks 1, 2 and 6 and the mortalities experienced from the mortality book between Portland and Fujairah. For decks 1 and 2 the higher reading of the fwd or after part has been used. Day Date Dry Temperature and Humidity Deck 1 Deck 2 Deck 6 Daily Mortalities Total Mortalities 1 15 June % 16 83% June % 19 75% 14 83% June % 20 64% June June % 16 64% June % 22 84% 20 70% June % 27 86% 28 72% June % 30 73% 30 73% June % 27 79% 26 73% June % 30 85% 29 79% June % 30 85% 29 79% June % 30 79% 30 79% June % 30 86% 30 79% June % 30 86% 30 86% June % 29 86% 28 86% June % 34 74% 35 68% July % 33 73% 34 67% 18 2 July July July % 34 86% 34 80% per day 21 5 July % 35 80% 38 74% July % 35 68% 35 68% Cattle Main Location In the Persian Gulf Table 4: Cattle Mortality by location Table 4 demonstrates that the cattle mortality increased as Becrux entered the Gulf and had increased from 23 June By 27 June 2002 (day 13) cattle mortality had exceeded the MO 43 reportable mortality level of 1% and by 29 June 2002 (day 15) prior to entering the Gulf 44 animals had died or 2.21% The ventilation system appeared to be generally capable of maintaining conditions that were not in the severe stress range as detailed in appendix 5 to the LiveCorp stockman s handbook 1. The exceptions were in the Persian Gulf as follows: 30 June 2002 (day 16) Deck 6 marginal 04 July 2002 (day 20) Deck 1, 2 and 6 05 July 2002 (day 21) Deck 1, 2 and 6 06 July 2002 (day 22) Deck 1 (Decks 2 and 6 marginal) 1 Table source: Dr Frank Wiersama (1990) Dept of Ag Eng, University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona 12

13 4.9 Timing, Conditions and Location of Sheep Mortalities The ship s mortality book indicates that sheep mortalities occurred mainly on the upper decks (decks 8 and 9) during the initial stages of the voyage. Table 5 shows the relationship between decks and sheep mortalities. As indicated in the notes to the table, the mortalities for the sheep on deck 6 that were subsequently moved to decks 1 and 2 have continued to be recorded against that deck. The same method was used for recording cattle mortalities. Day Date Deck Number Mortalities (a) Day Total 1 15 June June June Total by deck To Fremantle 4 18 June June June June June June 02 (b) (b) June June June June June June June Total by deck To Dammam July 02 (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) July 02 (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) July 02 (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) July July (c) (c) Total by deck To Fujairah July July 02 (c) 2 30 (c) (c) July 02 (c) Total by deck To Doha July July July Total by deck To Muscat Days on board By Deck Average by deck Per day O/B Number loaded Head Mortality 2.50% 0.83% 5.04% 1.75% 1.58% 1.90% 2.36% Notes: Alongside Fremantle Alongside Dammam Alongside Fujairah Alongside Doha (a) No figures for deck 1 and 2 given. From information derived during investigation it has been assumed that these mortalities are coved by deck 6 figures from where the animals came. (b) No figures provided during this period but mortalities counted elsewhere. (c) Sheep no longer carried on this deck. Table 5: Sheep Mortality by location 13

14 4.9.2 Cattle mortalities rose from 26 June 2002 and entry into the Persian Gulf, but this pattern is entirely different to that for sheep. As shown in Chart 1 covering 15 June 2002 to 06 July 2002 (day 1 to day 22) the daily average mortality for sheep declined from a peak of 87.5 per day on 24 June 2002 (day 10) to 70.6 per day just prior to arrival in Dammam (30 June 2002) and for the entire voyage up until Fujairah (06 July 2002) Average Daily Mortalities Cattle Daily Average Sheep Daily Average Days Chart 1: Comparison of Daily Average Sheep and Cattle Mortalities The vessel cargo plan indicated that wethers were carried on all decks but the B wethers loaded in Portland were only carried on decks 8 and 9. As noted in table 5, these decks suffered the highest mortality per deck total in the initial stages of the voyage. At the end of the voyage only deck 5, the ventilation of which is examined later in this report, exceeded the average mortality per day on deck. Decks 8 and 9 are substantially the same as deck 7 and very similar to deck COMPLIANCE WITH MO Possession of a Valid ACCL (Provision 10.1 of MO 43) Compliance with the requirements of MO 43 for the issue of an ACCL was verified through inspection of the ship by AMSA in May 2002, prior to its completion in Croatia. AMSA issued an ACCL valid until 15 August 2002 to coincide with the 14

15 validity of the ship s interim Safety Construction Certificate issued for the ships initial entry into service. Continued compliance with these statutory requirements was examined during the investigation. 5.2 Pre-Loading Inspection (Provision 7.1 of MO 43) In response to the notice of intention to load livestock lodged in accordance with 7.2 of MO 43, a pre-loading inspection was carried out by AMSA in Fremantle on 10 June AMSA s standard check-list for such an inspection was completed. The only outstanding matter to be satisfied before loading was the submission of stability calculations for the proposed voyage; these calculations are understood to have been submitted prior to the loading at Portland. In view of the satisfactory outcome of the pre-loading inspection, no further inspections were made as provided for in 7.4 of MO Livestock Services (Provision 12 and Appendix 4 of MO 43) Livestock services are defined in provision 2 of MO 43 to mean ventilation, fresh water supplies, fodder supplies, lighting and effluent removal systems. Provision 12 provides: A ship permanently equipped for the carriage of livestock must be fitted with systems and equipment that ensure the maintenance of livestock services at a level necessary for the welfare of the livestock. Compliance with Appendix 4 will meet this requirement. The aspects of the satisfactory provision of livestock services are examined in turn in relation to the detailed provisions in Appendix 4 of MO 43. Matters brought to AMSA s attention relevant to compliance include: a. A report that the vessel had suffered a breakdown in the drainage system during the wash down on 23 June 2002; b. A report that pens were wet when combined with an indication from the vessel that some flexible fresh water lines were bursting; c. A suggestion that the ventilation on the enclosed decks was not as good as that on deck 6; and d. A suggestion that the ventilation on the outer pens on decks 7 to 9 was worse than that provided for the inner pens. Some issues were also raised in the assessment of the location and timing of mortalities in regards to decks 3 and Main Source of Electrical Power (2.1 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) As may be expected for a ship on its first voyage, this was found satisfactory during the pre-loading inspection. The investigation received no evidence of significant failure during the voyage. 15

16 5.3.3 Secondary Source of Electrical Power (2.2 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Similar to the main source of power, no problem with the secondary source was revealed either during the pre-loading inspection or throughout the voyage. The investigation included running the secondary source of power and fans associated with the unit when placed on load. The unit ran with approximately 800 kw of load and no problems were observed Ventilation System (3 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Mechanical ventilation is supplied to all decks on Becrux, enclosed and open. The system consists of 84 ventilation columns 34 of which supply the open decks from deck 6 to deck 9 (32 supply and 2 exhaust) and as such do not extend below the freeboard deck. The remaining 50 columns, (26 supply and 24 exhaust fans) pass through the freeboard deck and provide ventilation exclusively to the enclosed spaces. As noted in figure 3 the arrangement is such that the supply columns are located near the centreline with exhaust ducts located against the ship s side shell plating. This arrangement limits the potential for re-ingestion of exhaust air from the livestock space. A ventilation system mimic panel is fitted on the bridge indicating the operation of the fans with an alarm system for fan failure. This system is also interfaced with the engine room alarm system to provide a generic alarm to the engineers in the event of a fan failure During the voyage two of the ventilation fans were replaced as a result of the fan mountings coming loose and being damaged. Discussions with the Chief Engineer and work records indicate that: 1. On 28 June 2002, at approximately 0515, fan number ESF-15 failed and was replaced by a spare unit. The fan was back in operation at approximately 1200 and the adjacent fan ESE-15 was placed on supply whilst this work was being conducted. 2. On 29 June 2002, at approximately 1900, a similar problem occurred with supply fan ESF-16, and it was replaced with a spare unit and placed back in operation by approximately On 29 June 2002, the veterinarian requested the 2 exhaust fans on the open deck fwd, (AE-1 and AE-2), be placed on supply, to provide more air. 16

17 Illustration 1: Verification of Ventilation flows Deck In view of the alternative arrangements put in place while fans were repaired, the limited period for which those arrangements were operational and the pattern of mortality, it was considered that the fan failures were not a factor in the levels of mortality for either cattle or sheep. It should be noted that both ESF-15 and ESF-16 were zone 3 fans supplying the after holds of decks 1 to 5 and the cattle from decks 1 and 2 had already been shifted to deck 6 by this stage. The impact of reversing the flow of AE-1 and AE-2 is yet to be confirmed. However, a report commissioned at AMSA s request by the ship s operator from Mamic Pty Ltd indicated this should not have had an adverse effect on deck Tests conducted by Mamic Pty Ltd during the investigations indicated the measured air flows at the inlet and supply outlets exceeded minimum design expectations by between 23% and 28%. The designed capacity of the system being 45 air changes per minute in open spaces and 60 air changes per minute in closed spaces, compliance with the provisions of 3 of Appendix 4 to MO43 was therefore confirmed. The results of the tests correlate to the test carried out by RINA on behalf of AMSA during the commissioning (see table 6) indicating no faults in, or substantial changes to, the ventilation systems when tested during the investigation. Type Location Measured Air Quantity m3/h Air Changes n/h Open Deck 6, 7, 8, Closed Deck 5 Aft (frames 7 to 51) Deck 1 to 5 After Hold (frames 51 to 101) Deck 1 to 5 Fwd Hold (frames 101 to 146) Table 6: Air Change Calculations at Commissioning in May The design data and Mamic tests indicate that the vessel s ventilation system well exceeds the MO 43 requirements in terms of minimum calculated air changes per hour, which for Becrux was in the order of 22.5 air changes per hour. 17

18 The actual air changes per hour appear to be a minimum of 58 changes an hour for open decks and 76 changes per hour in enclosed decks, which is three times more than the required minimum As no issues were identified with the number of air changes tests to determine the effectiveness of the system to distribute the air were carried out by Mamic Pty Ltd and the AMSA investigators. The purpose of the test was to identify any dead spots or areas of static or stalled air flow. Smoke tests were carried out on deck 1, (forward and aft), and deck 9 using orange smoke markers. The marker was activated and walked through each compartment. Some parts of each deck cleared faster than others with the worst case results being shown in figure 2. Deck 1 Aft Hold: Mostly clear 2 minutes Clear or barely discernable - 3 minutes Deck 1 Aft Fwd: Mostly clear 1.5 minutes Clear or barely discernable - 2 minutes Deck 9: Cleared almost immediately Figure 2: Air Distribution Results The tests found that areas where it was considered possible for air flows to have been subject to eddies or stalled flows were actually seen to have good dispersion characteristics due to the air velocity provided by the system. The system was capable of exchanging the air in the enclosed spaces effectively which explains why the master and veterinarian indicated there was no ammonia build up in these decks, despite the heavy build-up of dung and urine on the deck of each pen. It also means t it was highly unlikely that excessive levels of humidity would have remained present in the deck space for any period of time, this air being removed by the extraction system with the supply fans continually providing fresh air from outside. 18

19 Illustration 2: Smoke test on Deck The issue of humidity is pertinent as the temperature and humidity measurements 2 were given as the reason for moving the cattle from the enclosed decks to deck 6. An examination of the temperatures provided by the stockman to AQIS after the voyage corroborates the measurements taken by the Chief Officer except for 4 July As such the information provided in tables 4 and 9 with regard to conditions were accepted On the basis that the vessel exceeds the air change requirement by a considerable margin, there were no issues in regards to recirculation or static air flows and the conditions did not appear to have an adverse effect on the sheep (from day 10 the average daily mortality dropped steadily despite increased temperature and humidity) it cannot be concluded that any deficiency in or failure of the ventilation system or its arrangement could have contributed to the level of mortality suffered The veterinarian reported that he decided cattle should be moved from decks 1 and 2 to deck 6, commencing on 25 June because the existing signs of heat stress were likely to be exacerbated as the ship moved into the northern hemisphere and his perception of improved ventilation on deck 6. 2 It was noted that the vessel operators gave weight to the fact the temperature and humidity inside the vessel was much lower than that read on the bridge. It was noted that decks 1 and 2 appeared to be cooler than deck 6 but a little more humid. 19

20 As noted in table 7, the average daily mortality on deck 5 was higher than the other decks carrying sheep, but these figures should be read in conjunction with the number of sheep carried on each deck as shown in table 7. It should be noted that the figures for deck 6 cover sheep originally penned on deck 6 and subsequently located on decks 1 and 2 after the transfer of livestock on 28 June Deck Number Total mortalities by deck Total Loaded by Deck % Mortality of Total by deck 2.50% 0.84% 5.04% 1.76% 1.58% 1.90% 2.37% Days on board Daily Average Mortality by deck Table 7: Proportional Sheep Mortality by Deck and Number Loaded Decks 3 and 4 are similar in arrangement and deck 4 was the best deck in so far as daily average mortality and proportional mortality was concerned. This suggests factors other than ventilation may have had an adverse impact on the deck 3 mortality rates From the ship s mortality book (see table 9), there does not appear to be any extreme variation in environmental conditions compared to decks 3 and 4 that would explain this situation and deck 5 was loaded with wethers as was the case with deck 4. The arrangement of deck 5 is basically similar to deck 4 but with an additional area aft situated around the engine room casing and above the steering compartment and auxiliary machinery space. The mortality book reports on dry bulb and relative humidity conditions reported for the after part of deck 5 did not indicate these spaces had an effect on the temperature in the livestock space What is different in regards to deck 5 compared to the other enclosed decks below is the fact that by being situated directly below the main deck all load line openings and access ways open from this deck or pass through it. An examination of the vessel plans found that the following openings exist between deck 5 and the open deck 6 above it: a. 2 large mortality hatches; b. 3 large openings for livestock access ramps and associated personal access ramps to lower decks; c. 2 spiral staircase access doors to the lower decks; d. 2 machinery space and casing access door leading into the upper deck; and e. 33 vent gratings from the lower decks In his end of voyage report the veterinarian commented that he preferred deck 6 for cattle because of the greatly increased air flow afforded by the vents in the passageways releasing air from the decks below. This indicates that the vent grating covers were opened and it appears likely this was the practice during the sea 20

21 passage. Given the need to get access to the decks below it would be expected that the personal access door would also be open. In addition during the shifting of cattle for wash down and relocation the two major ramp access doors at frame 101 would have been open (23 to 28 June). These and the large mortality hatches would have remained open for removal of carcasses (from 28 June onwards). From discussions with the crew it appears the mortality hatches were open for much of the voyage. Ships Side Exhaust Vent Deck Vent Supply Vent Centreline Figure 3: Typical Pen Arrangement (Closed Decks) After analysing the distribution of mortalities the investigators considered the possibility that having a number of large hatches open between deck 6 and deck 5 may have short circuited the ventilation flows on deck 5. It appeared this could affect the outboard pens adjacent to the shell plating as the vents are located in the port and starboard passage ways between the supply duct and exhaust located against the ships side (see figure 3). As such it may be possible that the air extracted by the exhaust ducts may have come from the air rising through the passage way deck vents toward the outlets in the deck head of deck 5 and that the better ventilation observed on deck 6 may therefore have been at the expense of reduced effectiveness of ventilation on deck If the hatches were shut the ventilation system should perform in the same manner as the deck below. The passageway openings located in deck 6 opening from deck 5 are load line openings and the conditions of assignment for the load line require all openings to be closed (this also includes ramp doors and mortality hatches) when ever the ship is at sea. The veterinarian s report indicates the conditions of assignment were not being complied with in this respect. In view of their function under the Load Line Convention, it should not be considered normal practice for these hatches to be open and they should remain shut except where they need to be opened during cargo operations or for operational necessities. 21

22 Illustration 3: Deck Vent load line covers between decks 5 and Becrux s second voyage largely replicated the first, carrying a similar number of sheep from Portland and Fremantle to Gulf ports. The mortality of 0.578% on that voyage reflects significantly better performance compared to the first voyage although the voyage profile and environmental conditions were the same and the 33 vent gratings from the lower decks were kept open. This suggests that the level of mortality on deck 5 cannot be attributed to the management of the open vent gratings between deck 5 and It was apparent to the investigators that failure to close the load line openings may have had an effect. Additional tests would be required to determine the magnitude of any effect but no evidence was observed to indicate that it would be significant. Accordingly, AMSA will not require such tests unless future experience indicates a significant problem in this area. 22

23 5.3.5 Fresh Water Supplies (7 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Becrux has 4 double bottom tanks for the provision of fresh water, number 2 port & starboard with capacities of m 3 each and number 3 port and starboard with capacities of m 3 each. The vessel also has a collecting tank of m 3 where output from the reverse osmosis units is distributed. This gives a theoretical maximum capacity of m 3 (tonnes) of fresh water. The actual useable amount would be slightly less than this due to unavoidable ullage and unpumpables in the tanks. Production of fresh water is provided from 4 reverse osmosis (RO) units, each of a capacity of 150 tonnes per day and a fresh water generator providing 25 tonnes per day giving a theoretical maximum production rate of 625 tonnes per day Using an average weight of 380 kg for the cattle the daily water requirement as defined in sections (b) and (b) of the LEAP standards should have been in the order of around 472 tonnes per day based on the calculations below kg - 12% of body weight = tonnes sheep, 6 litres each = tonnes Approximate daily requirements = tonnes This supports the advice provided by the Chief Engineer indicating that the double bottom tanks were full and not used for the majority of the voyage as the reverse osmosis units could match demand While at sea, the water supply for the stock was generally provided by running the reverse osmosis units (capacity of 600 tonnes per day) to keep the collecting tank full. Water from the collecting tank directly supplied the hydrophore system, which in turn supplied the livestock drinking water distribution system. The excess water generated was discharged overboard. Shipboard records indicated that number 3 port and starboard double bottom tanks were used whilst the vessel was loading in Fremantle with the reverse osmosis units shut down. The reverse osmosis units were also not run on 23 June 2002 with number 2 port and starboard double bottom tanks used to give the vessel a trim by the stern for the wash down of decks 1, 2 and Information provided by the Chief Engineer to the investigators indicated that all reverse osmosis units were run at some stage during the voyage. Records indicated the only maintenance work required on the water making systems was a repair to a pressure gauge connection on number 2 reverse osmosis unit on 26 June 2002 but this did not appear to have affected production with 450 tonnes produced that day. A visual inspection by an AMSA surveyor found that all four reverse osmosis units were intact and in a serviceable condition. In addition during a visual inspection of the hydrophores and associated pumps fwd and aft, these were found to be in good condition and serviceable. Conductivity, (salinity), alarms and shutdowns are provided on the reverse osmosis units and these are set at 2000 µs/cm. The highest conductivity reading logged for any unit during the voyage was 1140 µs/cm. 23

24 Day Date Production Comment 1 15 June June June June Arr Fremantle 5 19 June 02 0 RO s not used 6 20 June June June June June June June June June June June Washing Down RO s not used Shifting Livestock Total 5125 Tonnes (m 3 ) RO Unit Running Hrs RO Unit Running Hrs Table 9: Drinking Water Production day 1 to The volume of water supplied to the livestock space is measured using a flow meter fitted to the output of the hydrophore. The investigation found there were no problems with the ability of the system to supply water to all parts of the livestock space. There were reports that at the start of the voyage it was found the pressure provided from the hydrophore was such that it was bursting flexible lines. The pressure was adjusted to resolve this issue. The daily RO output rates (provided in table 9) indicate that the vessel RO systems were capable of producing their designed output should water demand have required it noting that the vessel was pumping excess production over the side The watering systems at the pens consist of a trough with a water level maintained by a ball and float arrangement connected to the system by a ball valve, flexible hose and a quick release coupling. A test of these troughs on deck 9 was carried out and it was found that 38 failed to supply water. This was determined to be due to debris blocking the float-operated valve. The bosun indicated that this problem was due to the fact that the troughs are disconnected and placed up higher when the vessel is washed down and debris can enter the apertures of the exposed fittings. The clearing of the valve can be carried out in a relatively simple and quick manner. The problem of blocked float valves was identified as a deficiency as part of the pre-load inspection for the next voyage, and rectified before loading commenced. Since the problem could be readily rectified when it occurred, it was unlikely to have 24

25 been a cause of the mortality level on the first voyage unless the unavailability of personnel to tend the livestock prevented blocked troughs from being identified and cleared. Illustration 4: Typical deck (deck 6) showing feed troughs In addition to the automatic trough each pen had one trough not automatically supplied by either a fodder chute or float valve. This trough can be used for either fodder or water, which required: 1. for fodder - the troughs rotation under the fodder chute; and 2. for water - filling the trough from the additional fresh water taps located above the pens for this purpose The design ensures that adequate access could be provided to water or fodder depending on the circumstances. Indications are that only one trough was used to provide water to the livestock on each pen for the entire duration of the 25

26 voyage. The crew indicated that this was satisfactory to the attending veterinarian and there is no mention of problems with access to water in his report Fodder Supplies (7 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) The vessel is provided with two fodder silos port and starboard fwd. Each silo has a capacity of 2590 m 3 with fodder automatically distributed by means of conveyors and elevators. The fodder system was fully commissioned between 14 and 18 June on the voyage from Fremantle to Portland. During this period a problem was detected with gearbox number 9 supplying the starboard alleyway of all decks forward. The fault did not render the system inoperable and the gearbox was repaired with parts provided whilst loading at Fremantle. No other problems were mentioned or recorded with the fodder system Lighting (4 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) No specific light levels were measured as a part of the investigation as the tests for acceptance of the system had only recently been completed. It was observed that all light fittings were operational and the stock spaces and access ways appeared adequately lit Effluent Removal Systems (6 of Appendix 4 to MO 43) Groups of pens are surrounded by a 160mm high coaming designed to channel effluent to the drainage system. The coaming also serves to prevent effluent from one group of pens following into another. The latter provided the necessary segregation of species on deck 3 (wethers and steers). The drainage collection/bilge system, which consists of bilge wells and drainage tanks connected by large diameter piping and using pumps and eductors for waste transfer, was found to be fully operational at the time of the investigation. All the bilge wells are fitted with high level float alarms and alarm recording and test data provided by the Chief Engineer indicate the proper function of such. Decks are connected to the bilge wells via drains which allow wastes from higher decks to pass to the bilge wells located at deck 1 (five bilge wells), deck 5 (two bilge wells) and deck 6 (two bilge wells) The veterinarian reported problems with operation of the drainage system while washing down on 23 June The investigation determined from the ship s records that there had been a problem with submerged pumps 3 & 4 located in the after part of deck 1. The cause of the problem was the pump motors were tripping out on overload. The vessel s electrician inspected and adjusted the overloads and no further problems were noted. The bosun indicated the process of rectifying this defect took a matter of minutes and did not affect the washing down to any significant degree. This correlates with the information provided by the Chief Engineer Pen drainage systems on livestock ships are designed to deal with liquids rather than the dry and caked solids reported during this voyage. The drainage systems cannot be expected to handle such materials In order to verify the effectiveness of the drainage and bilge system, AMSA investigators conducted a test of the drainage system by flooding deck 9 utilising the fire hydrants on that deck. The water was allowed to pass through the 26

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