The U.S. Coast Guard is considering allowing a damaged tanker, carrying 285,000 barrels of gasoline, to unload its cargo in the New York Harbor before permanent repairs are made -- saving the vessel a long trip to its home port of Panama. "The Highland Faith (ship) has submitted a number of proposals that would allow it to offload its cargo," said Coast Guard spokesman John Hillin. "We are considering those (proposals) now." The 20-year-old Panamanian-flagged ship, which had been due into New York Harbor Dec. 5, was halted after a routine inspection revealed cracks on its deck and fuel vapors in its ballast tanks.
As reported Friday, Coast Guard officials said no fuel had leaked into the water. The vessel is in a safety zone seven
miles offshore of New York City and has proposed measures to reduce its risk to port so it can offload in the Harbor, instead of finding another port at which to do the repairs first. "We're working with them actively," Hillin said. "They're dotting their i's and crossing their t's. We understand time is an issue for them." Market sources said BP Amoco Plc was the intended receiver of the cargo and may have been caught short for a delivery off the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) futures market due to the delay. The ship's operator is Latanko Marine Management Ltd.