>Coast Guard Detains Tank Ship in Paulsboro, NJ

>Earlier today, Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay released the 36-year old, 706-ft tank ship, M/V Tabora, after having detained the ship for 16 days in Paulsboro, NJ.

On July 27, a Coast Guard port state control team boarded the Netherlands Antilles flagged ship for a routine safety examination and found that the ship’s cargo deck fire fighting system, inert gas system and crude oil washing system, as well as other pollution prevention equipment, were inoperable posing a serious threat to the safety of its crew and the environment. Upon completion of the examination, the Coast Guard detained the ship, notified the ship’s flag state and classification society, and requested an external audit of the ship’s safety management system. On August 8, the classification society conducted the audit on behalf of the flag state and identified numerous safety management practices that required immediate corrective action.

Early this morning, the Coast Guard released the ship after having verified that the inoperable cargo deck fire fighting system was repaired (130 meters of pipe was replaced) and corrective actions were taken that addressed the deficient safety management practices. The flag state has limited the ship’s authorized cargo to asphalt until the inert gas and crude oil washing systems are permanently repaired. The ship’s long term implementation of the corrective actions will be verified by the ship’s flag state during the ship’s next regularly schedule audit and during subsequent Coast Guard examinations.

History of the Port State Control Program
In 1994, Congress recognized that within the greater influx of foreign ships operating in U.S. waters, there undoubtedly existed a number of substandard vessels that posed an unacceptable threat to the safety of ports, waterways, and the marine environment. Accordingly, Congress directed the Coast Guard to develop a port state control program to eliminate substandard vessels from the nation’s waters, and to submit annual reports on the status of this newly mandated program. Annual reports from 1998 to the present are available online at CG Homeport.

Under the Coast Guard’s port state control program in 2008, Coast Guard units conducted 1,296 safety examinations and 1,134 security examinations onboard the 7,558 foreign ships that visited U.S. ports within the Fifth District. During these 7,558 foreign ship visits, Coast Guard units detained 32 for conditions that posed an unreasonable threat of harm to the ship’s crew, the port, or the environment.