Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Foreign Ro/Ro Detained in Tacoma by USCG

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Coast Guard said on Sept. 11 that it has detained the motor vessel Pegasus Highway in the Port of Tacoma due to safety deficiencies. The car carrier vessel is being required to remain in port until the deficiencies are rectified.

An exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound conducted a routine port state and international ship and port facility security exam aboard the Pegasus Highway, a 590-foot, Panamanian-flagged roll-on/roll-off vessel, on Sept. 9.

During the exam, the Coast Guard inspected fire protection, lifesaving, machinery, navigation and pollution control systems and also assessed the crew’s ability to respond to onboard emergencies.

While aboard the 21-year-old vessel, the Coast Guard discovered multiple areas that did not meet international regulations, the most severe of which involved a fire detection system that was found to be inoperable. Without a properly functioning fire detection system, a fire on a deck carrying vehicles could have burned without the crew receiving an early warning.

Vessels determined to be substandard during inspections are subject to a detention and must remain in port until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to persons on board or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.

“We will continue to work with the vessel's crew to ensure the deficiencies are corrected and the vessel is safe to resume trade,” said Cmdr. Matt Edwards, chief of prevention at Sector Puget Sound.