Coast Guard detains freighter for safety violations

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SEATTLE) — The U.S. Coast Guard detained motor vessel Stargold Trader to its berth in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, until the safety deficiencies found onboard are corrected by the vessel’s crew.

Port State Control officers from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, discovered the discrepancies during a routine inspection of the 618-foot Panamanian flagged vessel.

A majority of the safety discrepancies were related to fire hazards, which included excessive oil leaks within engine room machinery and disrepair of the vessel’s primary firefighting system.

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. A mooring line holding the vessel’s bow to the pier was rotten and in danger of parting.

The Stargold will remain in port and restricted from going to sea until the violations have been corrected.

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.”

The vessel, operated by Golden Management Company, plans to correct the deficiencies prior to loading copper in Vancouver, Wash., and departing for Vancouver, British Columbia.

By Professional Mariner Staff