Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Containership Detained at Port of Tacoma

By Mark Edward Nero

On Feb. 4, US Coast Guard reports officers from Sector Puget Sound discovered significant safety violations during an inspection of the 685-foot Liberian-flagged container ship Westwood Robson at the Husky Terminal in the Port of Tacoma.

The vessel, which is managed by Germany’s Hammonia Reederei, and crew are required to remain in port until deficiencies have been corrected to the satisfaction of Coast Guard inspectors.

The Coast Guard says that during the inspection, Port State Control examiners observed excessive oil in the bilge holding area, oil-soaked lagging present throughout machinery spaces and clogged oil drains, creating a significant risk of fire.

Also, mechanical issues included deteriorated fittings that contributed to oil and coolant leaks as well as inoperable oil purifiers.

“We are continuing to monitor the Westwood Robson after discovering safety violations, and working with the crew and appropriate authorities to ensure that the issues found are corrected before the ship resumes operations,” said Capt. Thomas Griffitts, deputy commander of Sector Puget Sound.
During a Port State Control exam, the Coast Guard conducts an extensive inspection of onboard systems, including fire protection, life saving, machinery, navigation, and pollution control. Examiners also assess the crew's ability to respond to emergencies.

A vessel determined to be in violation of standards can be detained and required to remain in port until it can proceed without presenting a danger to the crew or an unreasonable threat of harm to the maritime environment.