Bulker EUROBULKER X, Flag Cambodia, built 1974, 19473 grt,
breaks in two while loading cement at the port of Lefkandi in central Greece.
From a subsequent press report:
The ill-fated 26-year-old bulk Eurobulker X as "unseaworthy"
at the time of her loss in September 2000, and
opines that the vessel should never have been allowed to sail.
Excerpts from the report, compiled after a 15-month investigation
into why the vessel broke her back and sank
while loading cement at a terminal in the Bay of Lefkandi,
were published by the Athens daily Ethnos shortly before the new year.
A Ukranian seafarer among the 16-man crew was killed in the accident,
which caused one of the worst-ever environmental disasters
along the north Attica coastline.
As quoted by the newspaper, the report describes the general
condition of the Stavros Ilias-owned vessel as ranging from average to poor,
while parts of her steel structure are said to have been almost totally wasted away.
The report contends that "the management and operation of Eurobulker
X was most careless, possibly motivated by the desire to make the greatest
possible profit". Steel plating in the lower decks is said to have been
30-40% wasted away and in need of replacement,
while the vessel's upper ballast tanks had deteriorated by 50% to as much as 100%.
The vessel's Ukranian master is described as lacking formal qualifications,
and the inquiry report is critical of the Halkis Cement company's loading procedures
which had led in this case to the cargo being loaded amidships,
with outlying holds left empty.
The owner and the master of Eurobulker X were in February 2001 fined Drs 128m
($346,000) by a Halkis court in connection with the sinking of the cement
carrier and subsequent pollution. Five others have been charged over the
incident, including the vessel's second mate and the person held responsible
for authorising the vessel to sail after she underwent repairs at Avlis
Shipyard, near Halkis, which is itself run by Stavros Ilias group interests.
It is one of rare case of a fine for the structural failure
of bulker, this thanks to the pollution.
The death of seafarers apparently is
not worth such a concern by any court in the world.