Tuesday, March 10, 2015

USCG Detains Containership in Seattle

By Mark Edward Nero

On March 5, US Coast Guard personnel detained the containership MOL Precision in Seattle due to numerous alleged violations found during an inspection.

The MOL Precision, a 13-year-old, 962-foot cargo ship, was conducting cargo operations in Seattle at the time of the exam. Its last port of call was Busan, South Korea.

The violations, according to the USCG, included defective oil bilge line filtering equipment. The line filtering equipment, which is required to be maintained so that the ship doesn’t discharge bilge oil overboard, had a non-functional alarm and intermittently operating meter.

Other violations included missing security training records, and not sending required ballast tank information to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse prior to entering a US port. The NBIC collects, analyzes and interprets ballast water management data to reduce the likelihood of exotic species invasions.

Also, records of the security drills could not be provided for an eight-month period in 2014.

Officers from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound discovered the violations during a port state control exam of the Panamanian-flagged ship, which, according to the Coast Guard, is expected to remain in Sector Puget Sound’s Captain of the Port zone until the violations are corrected.

“The Port State Control program holds foreign-flagged vessels to internationally agreed-upon standards to ensure the safety of life at sea and to prevent damage to the global and local environment,” Lt. James Tynan, chief of the Sector Puget Sound Port State Control Branch, said. “We are continuing to monitor the MOL Precision and are working with the crew and Panamanian representatives to correct these deficiencies.”