Seven Foreign Ships Detained in U.K. in April

Wednesday, May 29, 2002
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that seven foreign ships were under detention in U.K. ports during April 2002 after failing port state control safety inspection. Latest monthly figures show that four foreign ships were detained in UK ports during April 2002 along with 3 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 6.4 percent which is a decrease of 0.2 percent on the 12-month rate to March. All the vessels detained in April were registered with flags targeted by the Paris MOU. In addition to those vessels detained approximately 36 vessels were issued with letters of warning as a result of failure to comply with the STCW95 requirements for crew certification which came into force on 1 Feb 2002. The ships detained included a Cyprus flagged bulk carrier with a serious shortfall in the maintenance of safety equipment onboard. Both the fire main isolation valve in the engine room and the accommodation fire damper were incapable of closure, while the fire detention system to the engine room and accommodation areas was switched off. The fixed fire fighting system in the paint locker was also inoperative. A surveyor witnessed fire and abandons ship drills on three separate occasions during the detention and released the vessel only when they had reached a satisfactory standard. During the abandon ship drill as the lifeboat was lowered to the embarkation station two crewmembers were almost thrown out of the boat. A general lack of control and guidance from the senior officers was also evident during the fire drill where a delay of 16 minutes was recorded from the time the alarm was raised to the fireman being instructed to enter the affected area. A Radio Survey revealed that the MF/HF radio set could not transmit because the antennae was disconnected, while the EPIRB had a loose screw inside it which risked shorting out the unit. Twenty-three hardware deficiencies were raised in relation to the safety equipment and some deficiencies, for example the wastage on the cheekplate of the starboard lifeboat falls block could have been present for years. The safety culture on board the vessel and the Safety Management System fell short of the required standard.
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