NZ MSA Orders Vessel Tests

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The New Zealand Maritime Safety Authority has instructed the owners of the Japanese iron sands carrier Taharoa Express to carry out engine and maneuvering trials with the vessel to ensure that it can berth safely at the Taharoa offshore loading terminal, near Raglan.

As a precautionary measure in the event of a further engine failure, the MSA will also require a harbour tug to be on station during the trials and while the Taharoa Express ties up to the terminal.

The Taharoa Express was approaching the Taharoa offshore terminal mooring buoy, two nautical miles offshore, at 7.20pm on Sunday night when it suffered a total loss of main engine power. The pilot and crew were carrying out emergency anchoring procedures when engine power was restored.

The Maritime Safety Authority declared the vessel a ‘hazardous ship’ under the Maritime Transport Act and ordered it to remain 50 nautical miles off shore.

"The purpose of the trials will be demonstrate that the engine is in good working order and the crew are familiar with operating procedures, while manoeuvring trials will be used to demonstrate that the ship’s steering gear is functioning correctly”, said Director of Maritime Safety Russell Kilvington.

The trials will be conducted in the presence of representatives from the MSA and the ship’s Classification Society.

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