SAFETY: Rag plugs hull

By Eric Martin for TRADEWINDS

A rag.

That is what a port state control inspector found plugging a crack in the hull of a Russian general cargoship at a UK port, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Friday [19].

Authorities detained the 2,550-dwt Baltiyskiy-110 (built 1980) in Fowey, Cornwall, for “failure to comply with merchant legislation.”

The inspector’s preliminary look at the Russian-flagged ship found a hole in the port side hull plating in to a water ballast tank. An MCA photo of the vessel shows a white rag sticking out of the crack.

“This is a very serious breach of international maritime legislation,” MCA area operations manager Tony Heslop said in a statement.

The MCA says the vessel had the hull damage on two previous port calls, but the vessel’s owners instructed the master to continue to sail.

The ship is controlled by North Western Shipping of St Petersburg, which Equasis ties to a fleet of 80 vessels, mostly general cargoships. The company’s managing director could not be immediately reached for comment after local business hours Friday.

The port state control inspector, who found two major [non-]conformities on the Baltiyskiy-110, plans to conduct a detailed inspection with a surveyor from the ship’s classification society, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

Unbelievable!

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