Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bulk Carrier Again Detained in PNW

By Mark Edward Nero

For the second time in six months, the bulk cargo carrier vessel Ikan Sudip has been detained at a port in the Pacific Northwest for safety violations. On May 16, the US Coast Guard detained the 600-foot, Panamanian-flagged motor vessel after significant environmental and safety violations were found during an inspection in Astoria.

Back in November 2014, the 11-year-old vessel was detained in Longview, Washington by the Coast Guard after inspectors found extensive disrepair of various piping systems in the machinery spaces as well as deteriorated and inoperable fire hoses on the vessel.

Vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Portland discovered the latest discrepancies during an inspection of the vessel.

“The Ikan Sudip’s safety and environmental conditions posed an unacceptable threat to our waterways,” said Capt. Dan Travers, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Commanding Officer and captain of the port for Oregon and Southern Washington. “We are focused on ensuring that all issues are corrected by fixing the discrepancies and removing the risks found on board the vessel."

While inbound to US waters on May 11, the vessel experienced two separate fuel related propulsion losses within 24 hours, which completely disabled the vessel at sea.

After regaining minimal propulsion with temporary repairs, the captain of the port expelled the vessel from US waters and prohibited its re-entry until the main engine’s fuel system was properly repaired.

Vessel crewmembers and propulsion machinery technicians corrected the fuel system issues on May 16, and the vessel was allowed to enter the Columbia River while under escort by a towing vessel. Inspectors boarded the vessel while it was anchored in Astoria and conducted a safety and security inspection where they identified multiple equipment discrepancies and environmental violations, including a failure to use engineering procedures required by US and international law, which guide the vessel’s crew through fuel management and vessel propulsion requirements.

Other discrepancies were a lack of crew familiarity with emergency rescue drills, deficient structural fire boundary doors designed to prevent the spread of a fire and inoperable lifesaving equipment. Severe corrosion was also found throughout the vessel's machinery piping systems.

The Coast Guard says its vessel inspectors are working with the Ikan Sudip’s flag state, vessel owner EikoKisen Co. Ltd., the vessel’s managing company, and the vessel’s crew to make the essential repairs.

“Only after the vessel crew corrects its deficient safety management system and critical vessel equipment will we allow it to return to commercial service,” Travers said.

Ikan Sudip, a bulk carrier, is scheduled to load potash in Portland and is expected to depart for Brazil after the safety violations have been corrected.