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Marine Log

January 2, 2008

Disabled containership towed to Bayonne

The 331-foot containership Agaman, which had been disabled and adrift about 90 miles southeast of Nantucket, R.I., since Wednesday after contaminated fuel seized its engines and generators, was safely towed to a Bayonne, N.J., dry dock Sunday.

Coast Guard marine inspectors examined the Agaman at around 9 a.m., Sunday, and noted numerous engineering deficiencies that have to be corrected before the Liberian flagged container ship is permitted to resume its voyage.

Hamburg-based Komrowski Shipping Company, the Agaman's manager, has contracted for repairs to the Agaman's main diesel engines and diesel generators, and to replace contaminated lube oil in its auxiliary engines. The Coast Guard is also requiring Agaman to replace emergency egress breathing devices (EEBD's) and portable fire extinguishers that were exhausted during a previous incident.

"We're concerned about the repairs that will be made to the engineering plant, but the focus on safety requirements is paramount," said Chief Petty Officer Jim Moore, Sector New York Command Duty Officer. "We'll need to be convinced that the ship will meet all minimum safety requirements before it will be allowed to depart the port."

The Agaman, a general cargo container ship, owned by the Komrowski Shipping Company based in Hamburg, Germany, was on a voyage from Cuba to Canada when contaminated fuel seized its engines and generators Wednesday, rendering the ship powerless and adrift in 15-foot seas. With no power for heating and cooking, the Agaman crew wore additional clothing and huddled around a barbecue on the poop deck.

Komrowski Shipping Company hired the Atlantic Salvor, a tug owned by Hillside, N.J. based DonJon Marine, to take food supplies to the Agaman crew and tow the ship 170 miles to Bayonne for repairs.

While the Agaman remained disabled, three AMVER participating vessels, the merchant vessels Dual Confidence, Aegeas and Moselle, remained alongside to provide communications between the Agaman crew and the Coast Guard, and were nearby for emergency extraction of the Agaman crew.