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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Leader L KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 1
source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead 18
link

The ship was loaded with salt when the side shell failed in way of Hold No 4 about 400 miles North of Bermuda. The crew reported a 15 m long plate had come loose. 4 flooded and then 3 and 2 as the bulkheads collapsed. 13 of the 31 man crew survived. The ship was still transmitting radio messages as she went under.

The initial flooding of No 4 took place at 1330. The ship sank by the bow at about 1930. During this period, the crew observed strong sloshing forces impacting on the hatch covers. Salt is an interesting cargo since it will go into solution if a hold is flooded. This would allow more sloshing, then most solid cargos. Doubt if bulk carrier hold design allows for sloshing forces.

This is the loss that got the Polish Register kicked out of IACS; but, as far as I know, IACS never really said why. For IACS to do this, it must have been something really bad. IACS said only the ship was "evidently in poor condition for some time".

Ship was transferred from LR to the Polish Register in 1997. PR claimed all the 1999 Surveys were clean. However, they found "irregularities" in a March, 2000 survey but claimed it had no impact since the 1999 certificates were still good. The surveyor was fired. Obviously, if owners had to suborn a surveyor, something was very badly wrong.

The ship was bought for USD 3.5 million in 1996. Her insured value when she sank four years later was 6 million. The owners' bribe turned out to be an excellent investment.