SHIPPING | Seatrade vessel unsafe

Jim Mulrenan | Tradewinds | 2010.11.04

A ship operated by Triton Schiffahrts, a subsidiary of Seatrade Groningen has been detained by UK port state control inspectors for having a “dangerously unsafe” engine room.

Inspectors found a dozen deficiencies on the 550,000-cbf reefer Elsebeth (built 1998) with four of them sufficiently serious to warrant detention.

The Elsebeth was not so pristine when boarded at Portsmouth.

The engine room bilge wells were full of thick black oil and other areas were oil covered.

The engine room alarm system was in permanent alarm mode and the main engine cooler discharge pipe was holed.

Several small engine room floor plates were missing, as was lagging on several steam and fuel pipes, valves and filters.

Other deficiencies found during an inspection at Portsmouth include that the fire doors of the reefer machinery space did not close properly and there was a lack of required documentation in relation to radio test calls.

This is the first time that the Elsebeth has been detained by port state inspectors but the vessel has a history of deficiencies being found.

On five out of the six times the ship has been subject to Paris MoU inspection since 2008 deficiencies have been noted. Seven deficiencies were noted when the vessel was inspected at Waterford in Ireland last year and five at Hamburg the year before.

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency said seven merchant ships were under detention in October including four held from previous months.

A Wessels Reederei multipurpose vessel was amongst those held after 17 deficiencies were noted, including five that were grounds for detention.

The 3,735-dwt Nordstern (built 1994) was detained because of major non-conformities relating to the vessel’s safety management system which inspectors said “was clearly not working.”

Senior officers also lacked familiarity with the working of basic safety equipment and machinery and the aft engine room emergency escape hatch was locked on the outside with a cable tie.

Two floor plates were missing in the engine room, the light was out in the forward engine room escape duct and both port and starboard bridge wing man overboard buoys and lights were not ready for use as they were tied to the ship.

The inspectors who boarded the vessel at Southampton also identified problems over English language skills and in relation to hours of rest. This vessel was previously detained at Gibraltar in April 2010.

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