Marine Log

April 24, 2006

USCG expels ship from Port Canaveral

The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port expelled a vessel from Port Canaveral April 20, 2006 after Coast Guard marine inspectors found conditions on board so unsafe that they got off the ship soon after beginning their inspection.

The Aral Wind is a 500-foot, gasoline tanker that was preparing to unload its cargo at the South Cargo Piers--Tanker Berth 1 when inspectors from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Port Canaveral met the vessel to conduct a routine certificate of compliance boarding.

The vessel did not have a valid certificate of compliance.

Coast Guard inspectors found that high-level gas alarms in the vessel's cargo hold were disabled. These sensors warn the crew of the ship if the gas in the cargo hold is expanding above safe levels. As a result, large amounts of gasoline were leaking out of the ship's pressure release valve vent risers, which are designed to release gasoline vapors from the cargo tank.

Marine inspectors also found the ship's explosive meters disabled. Explosive meters are designed to detect explosive and flammable vapors throughout the ship.

The Aral Wind's oil discharge monitoring system was also found disabled. The system monitors and records the amount of cargo discharged during an offload.

Coast Guard marine inspectors aboard the Aral Wind encountered levels of benzene exceeding those determined safe for Coast Guard personnel and in accordance with policy, disembarked the vessel.

The Aral Wind was issued a Captain of the Port order, directing the vessel to leave Port Canaveral just after noon April 20. The vessel will not be allowed to return to the United States until it meets minimum safety and environmental standards.