USCG Detains Bulker in Portland After Numerous Fire Hazards Found On Board

Mike Schuler
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September 20, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard has detained a 1994-built bulk carrier in Portland after an inspection revealed numerous fire hazards on board and, from the sounds of it, the ship is lucky hasn’t already spontaneously combusted.

The Coast Guards says that on Wednesday it detained the MV Stargold Trader to its berth in Portland, Oregon after Port State Control officers discovered a number of discrepancies during a routine inspection of the 618-foot Panamanian-flagged vessel. A majority of the safety issues were related to fire hazards, which included excessive oil leaks within engine room machinery and disrepair of the vessel’s primary firefighting system.

Specifically, the Port State Control inspection revealed eight of 19 firefighting hoses failed inspection and were unable to take the water pressure of the vessel’s fire pump. In addition, multiple leaks and failing repairs were observed in the vessel’s fire main piping.

In the engine room, the vessel’s incinerator and auxiliary boiler were actively leaking and accumulating flammable liquids near the hot machinery.

On deck, the steel trunk from one of the vessel’s watertight cargo holds was found to be severely deteriorated and the hold’s watertight integrity compromised. Also a mooring line holding the vessel’s bow to the pier was rotten and in danger of parting.

The Coast Guard says that the Stargold Trader will remain in port and restricted from going to sea until the violations have been corrected. Golden Management Company, which operates the vessel, plans to correct the deficiencies prior to loading copper in Vancouver, Wash., and departing for Vancouver, British Columbia.

The purpose of the Coast Guard’s Port State Control program is to identify and eliminate substandard foreign vessels from operating in U.S. waters.

“The Coast Guard is committed to rigorously enforcing U.S. and international safety, security and environmental standards in our waterways,” said Capt. Bruce Jones, Coast Guard captain of the port. “The economic vitality and security of our region depends on the efficient operation of the Columbia River’s maritime transportation system. A vessel’s failure to meet the minimum safety standards established under the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention can threaten that efficient operation.”

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