Vessel Discovered to Have Pollution Equipment Bypass

Friday, February 08, 2002
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Anchorage is investigating a second vessel for possible tampering with pollution prevention equipment to treat oily water aboard another Panamanian flagged vessel. The motor vessel Sohoh, a refrigerated freight ship, was found to have equipment capable of being used by the crew as a bypass of the ship's oily water separator system. During a routine boarding of the vessel Coast Guard inspectors discovered evidence of the bypass, which could allow the direct discharge of oily water overboard from the vessel.

The oily water separator is designed to mechanically separate water from the oily sludge mixture produced by engine room machinery. The oily sludge is retained in a storage tank, the clean water is then discharged overboard through a monitoring system. By international maritime pollution standards 15 parts of oil per million parts of water is an acceptable level. Bypassing the separator allows the oily sludge to be directly discharged into the water. The motor vessel Khana Monday was found to have the same oily water separator bypass set up on board. The Sohoh and Khana make regular port calls at Dutch Harbor. The Captain of the Port has issued an order instructing the crews of the Sohoh and the Khana to retain all oily water aboard the vessel until a recognized class society can verify proper operation of the oily water separator and reissue an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate.

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