Container handling at Chittagong Port, Bangladesh. Credit: Chittagong Port Authority
There has been a marked increase in accidents involving ships at anchor in the Bangladeshi port of Chittagong, according to the London P&I Club. It has warned that the area has become an international hot-spot for anchor-dragging incidents.
Incidents over the last 12 months ranged from minor contact damage to groundings, with the risk of associated pollution, which the Club said was exacerbated by the increased number of vessels open to “monsoon-type conditions, strong prevailing currents and poor holding ground”.
The club noted that there has been a significant rise in the number of ships calling at Chittagong in recent years and that, as most bulk carriers discharge into lightering barges, congestion is increasing at the port’s outer anchorage. In 2016, the average number of ships lying at anchor at any time was between 60 and 90.
It advised its members to refer to the Chittagong Port Authority guidelines or masters anchoring at Chittagong Outer Anchorage, in combination with local sailing directions and other “salient port information” during the passage planning stage.