By Mark Edward Nero
Substandard safety issues onboard the bulk carrier Iolcos Commander has resulted in the vessel being detained by the US Coast Guard in Longview, Wash.
On the evening of Feb. 12, the Coast Guard received notification from the captain of Iolcos Commander of an engine malfunction while getting underway from berth in Longview. The vessel attempted to start their engine to transit to Vancouver, Wash., but the crew couldn’t start the main engine and had to receive tug assistance back to their berth.
Upon notification of the marine casualty, the Coast Guard’s captain of the port issued an order requiring the vessel to remain at berth until repairs were conducted and approved.
The following morning, inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland went onboard to assess damages. After inspectors identified several safety discrepancies they expanded the scope of the damage assessment, leading them to conduct a full safety and security exam.
Inspectors found fuel and cooling water leaking from the main engine, posing a potential fire hazard to the crew. The inspectors also found the fixed fire extinguishing system was improperly installed, causing excessive chaffing on several discharge hoses rendering the system unsafe to operate.
Crewmembers on board Iolcos Commander are currently rectifying the deficiencies.
The vessel, a 714-foot, Malta-flagged ship, is expected to remain in the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River captain of the port zone until the violations are corrected.