March 24, 2003
USCG detains tanker with two Iraqui crew
Shipowners whose crews include Iraqui nationals could well have a problem in U.S. waters. The U.S. Coast Guard is detaining an 880-foot oil tanker in the Delaware Bay with two Iraqi national crewmembers aboard.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port in Philadelphia ordered the Qatar-flagged M/V ALDAWHA to remain at anchor Wednesday evening upon determining through Advance Notice of Arrival screening that two crewmembers aboard the U.S. bound ship are Iraqi nationals. A Coast Guard boarding team boarded the ship and completed an inspection of the ship. The ship remains under the positive control of an armed Coast Guard boarding team and Department of Homeland Security BICE officials as an investigation into the status of the crew is ongoing.
Under Operation Liberty Shield, the Coast Guard is screening and tracking all foreign flagged ship arrivals and increasing port security boardings of ships before they arrive in U.S. ports. The Coast Guard has also increased both waterborne and airborne patrols of U.S. ports and waterways since the DHS threat level was elevated to Orange this week.