Surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have detained a Cambodian registered ship after they found that the ship was just playing lip-service to the newly introduced requirements for a safety management system. `Sea Runner a 1965 built 1242 gross ton three-hold general cargo vessel was detained in Seaham on August 6. She had been targeted for inspection after having been detained four times previously in Europe in the past year.
On boarding surveyors found that the Russian crew could not identify the company responsible for the operation of the ship, identify the designated person ashore responsible for monitoring the safe operation of the ship or produce safety management documentation in their working language. There were no procedures for ship operations, emergency preparedness or planned maintenance records.
No one on board could recall whether any internal or external audit had been carried out even though International Safety Management Certificates had been issued to the ship in July. The company’s Document of Compliance and the ship’s Safety Management Certificate had been issued to the operators Belize Bureau of Shipping (Istanbul Turkey) Ltd on behalf of the Kingdom of Cambodia by the Cosmos Bureau of Shipping in Busan Korea in July 2002.
The lack of safe management clearly manifested itself as the inspection unfolded. A canvas awning had been placed over the upper decks of wheelhouse to prevent water leaking through corrosion holes in the decks. Corrosion problems were also evident by temporary repairs on hatch coamings, weathertight doors and decks. Lifeboat launching drills had not been carried out at required intervals and the lifeboat davits had severe corrosion problems in the davit structure.
Liferafts on board were found incorrectly secured and would not have automatically operated in the event of the vessel sinking. The vessel had arrived at Seaham with a cargo of timber and did not have large-scale charts of the area and the charts she did have were not corrected. Problems were also discovered with her distress flares and navigational equipment
Annual surveys for Safety Construction, Safety Equipment, Load Line and other Convention certificates had been carried out by the Honduras International Survey and Inspection Bureau in June 2002 but apparently none of these deficiencies had been addressed.
The vessel is presently waiting for the attendance of a Russian speaking flag and/or classification society surveyor to attend to carry out an ISM audit and report on definitive repairs. The vessel will not be released until the requirements of the ISM Code have been met and she is safe to continue her voyage.