A report from NGO Shipbreaking Platform has revealed that out of the 220 ships scrapped in the second quarter of this year, 169 were sold to the South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking. As per the report, six workers died and another seven sustained severe injuries while breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh, between April and June. An incident that occurred at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India, claimed the life of a worker. According to the report, 18 deaths and nine injuries were reported at various shipbreaking yards across South Asia so far this year. Shipbreaking Platform in a statement said: “In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners.
“American company Tidewater was the worst corporate dumper with 15 vessels beached. At the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, 22 tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped.
“Industry sources report that devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.”
The report also noted that only three ships were operating under European flags, including Greece, Malta, and Norway, when they were sent to beaches for breaking last quarter.
Scrap dealers or cash-buyers were involved in sending all the vessels to the Chittagong, Alang, and Gadani yards. The dealers who often re-register and re-flag the vessel on their final journeys mostly target grey and black-listed flags. The report also showed that more than half of the vessels sold to South Asian beaches this quarter changed the flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau, and St Kitts and Nevis, just weeks before their arrival at the beaches.