Captain Marcos Papadopoulos, a 50-year maritime industry veteran and CEO of Greek shipping firm, Marine Managers Ltd. expressed nothing but absolute frustration in a phone call this morning over an alleged “magic pipe” incident involving one of his company’s vessels.
After receiving U.S. Coast Guard and port state control inspectors on board upon arrival into New Orleans, the bulk carrier Trident Navigator passed inspection with no issues. In fact, Papadopoulos notes this ship, her crew, and her operators had been placed on the USCG’s “elite” list indicating a significant history of compliant shipping operations while in U.S. waters.
The following day however, the USCG notes that inspectors were back aboard the vessel after a being alerted by one of the vessel’s crew who had found a pipe apparently used to bypass the oily water separator. The USCG adds that the investigation has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice and they were unable to provide any further details.
The vessel had been bought by the owners of his company about two and a half years ago and that the condition of the vessel was “very, very good,” according to Captain Papadopoulos. “The vessel was in drydock about six months ago where the generator and the oily water separator were both overhauled and when checked by the USCG, were found to be in excellent working condition. Everyone here is puzzled, we cannot find a possible reason or why this could have taken place.” he added.
If the shoe fits…
Papadopoulos notes that, “this ‘magic pipe’ as you call it, has two flanges at either end. Someone would have to show us how this pipe would be used to pump oil overboard. They don’t match.”
He added that the pipe was found in the steering gear room with other pipes.
We have reached out to the Department of Justice, however as a matter of policy, they were unable to comment on the ongoing investigation.