Two bulkers detained on Columbia River for safety violations

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

(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The Coast Guard set in motion a detention of the Panama-flagged bulk carriers Atlantic Ruby and Amber L on Thursday after discovering substandard safety issues while conducting routine Port State Control exams on board the vessels along the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

Atlantic Ruby, a 590-foot bulk carrier, was boarded in Portland on Thursday after Port State Control officers detected the SOLAS deficiencies. Coast Guard inspectors found the fixed fire extinguishing system was improperly serviced, with the time delays left disconnected. The time delay ensures personnel inside a room are able to escape before the fixed fire extinguishing agent is released.

A separate Port State Control exam conducted in Kalama on board Amber L, a 609-foot bulk carrier, identified several safety discrepancies. Inspectors found cooling water leaking from the main engine and multiple issues with the vessel's steering system.

Through the Port State Control program, the Coast Guard verifies that foreign flagged vessels operating in U.S. waters comply with applicable international conventions, U.S. laws, and U.S. regulations.

In an effort to reduce deaths and injuries, loss of or damage to property or the marine environment, and disruptions to maritime commerce, PSC exams focus on those vessels most likely to be substandard, based on identified risk factors. When vessels are identified as not being in substantial compliance with applicable laws or regulations, the Coast Guard imposes controls until the conditions have been rectified and the vessels are brought into compliance.

Atlantic Ruby and Amber L will remain in the Columbia River captain of the port zone until the discrepancies are corrected.

By Professional Mariner Staff