Coast Guard Expels Ship from Port Canaveral

Monday, April 24, 2006
The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port expelled a vessel from Port Canaveral after Coast Guard marine inspectors found the vessel in violation of many serious safety standards. The Aral Wind is a 500-ft., gasoline tanker that was preparing to unload its cargo at the South Cargo Piers - Tanker Berth 1 when inspectors from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Port Canaveral met the vessel to conduct a routine certificate of compliance boarding. The vessel did not have a valid certificate of compliance, and the conditions on the ship were so unsafe inspectors left the vessel shortly after beginning their inspection.

Coast Guard inspectors found that high-level gas alarms in the vessel's cargo hold were disabled. These sensors warn the crew of the ship if the gas in the cargo hold is expanding above safe levels. As a result, large amounts of gasoline were leaking out of the ship's pressure release valve vent risers, which are designed to release gasoline vapors from the cargo tank. Marine inspectors also found the ship's explosive meters disabled. Explosive meters are designed to detect explosive and flammable vapors throughout the ship. The Aral Wind's oil discharge monitoring system was also found disabled. The system monitors and records the amount of cargo discharged during an offload. The Aral Wind was issued a Captain of the Port order, directing the vessel to leave Port Canaveral just after noon yesterday. The vessel will not be allowed to return to the United States until it meets minimum safety and environmental standards. Coast Guard marine inspectors aboard the Aral Wind encountered levels of benzene exceeding those determined safe for Coast Guard personnel and in accordance with policy, disembarked the vessel. Coast Guard marine inspectors conduct safety boardings of commercial tankers and cargo carriers everyday in Port Canaveral and in ports around the country, to ensure vessels calling on U.S. ports are in compliance with applicable safety and security regulations, and to promote safety of life at sea.

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