Bulk Carrier Busted Over Significant Safety and Environmental Violations

MV Ikan Sudip file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/
MV Ikan Sudip file photo (c) MarineTraffic.com/Malcolm Miller

The U.S. Coast Guard has detained the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Ikan Sudip after an inspection in Astoria, Oregon revealed significant environmental and safety violations.

Vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) in Portland discovered the discrepancies during an inspection of the 600-foot vessel, which was built in 2004.

“The Ikan Sudip’s safety and environmental conditions posed an unacceptable threat to our waterways,” said Capt. Dan Travers, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Commanding Officer and captain of the port for Oregon and Southern Washington. “We are focused on ensuring that all issues are corrected by fixing the discrepancies and removing the risks found on board the vessel.”

According to the Coast Guard, the vessel experienced two separate fuel-related propulsion losses within 24 hours while inbound to U.S. water last Monday, which in both cases rendered the vessel completely disabled. After regaining minimal propulsion with temporary repairs, the captain of the port expelled the vessel from U.S. waters and prohibited its re-entry until the main engine’s fuel system was properly repaired.

Vessel crewmembers and propulsion machinery technicians corrected the fuel system issues on Saturday, and the vessel was allowed to enter the Columbia River while under escort by the towing vessel Somer S.

Inspectors from the MSU boarded the vessel while anchored in Astoria and conducted a safety and security inspection where they identified multiple equipment discrepancies and environmental violations.

The violations included a failure to use engineering procedures required by U.S. and international law, which guide the vessel’s crew through fuel management and vessel propulsion requirements. Other discrepancies were a lack of crew familiarity with emergency rescue drills, deficient structural fire boundary doors designed to prevent the spread of a fire and inoperable lifesaving equipment. Additionally, severe corrosion was found throughout the vessel’s machinery piping systems posing a significant threat to the vessel and crew.

Coast Guard vessel inspectors are working with the Ikan Sudip’s flag state, classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), the owner Grace Hawk Shipping S.A., vessel manager EikoKisen Co. Ltd., and the vessel’s crew to make the essential repairs. The ship is operated by Pacific Carriers, Ltd.

“Eliminating substandard vessels from U.S. waters is critical to ensuring our waterways are protected,” said Travers. “Only after the vessel crew corrects its deficient safety management system and critical vessel equipment will we allow it to return to commercial service.”

MV Ikan Sudip is scheduled to load potash in Portland and will depart for Brazil after the safety violations have been corrected.