The US Coast Guard detained the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Ikan Sudip, after significant environmental and safety violations were found during an inspection in Astoria on Saturday.
While inbound to US waters, the 600-foot, 2004-built bulker experienced two separate fuel related propulsion losses within 24 hours last Monday, which completely disabled the vessel at sea. After regaining minimal propulsion with temporary repairs, the captain of the port expelled the vessel from US waters and prohibited its re-entry until the main engine’s fuel system was properly repaired.
Vessel crew members and propulsion machinery technicians corrected the fuel system issues on Saturday, and the vessel was allowed to enter the Columbia River while under escort by the towing vessel Somer S. Vessel inspectors from the Marine Safety Unit in Portland boarded the vessel while anchored in Astoria and conducted a safety and security inspection where they identified multiple equipment discrepancies and environmental violations.
The violations found included a failure to use engineering procedures required by US and international law, which guide the vessel’s crew through fuel management and vessel propulsion requirements. Other discrepancies were a lack of crew familiarity with emergency rescue drills, deficient structural fire boundary doors designed to prevent the spread of a fire and inoperable lifesaving equipment. Additionally, severe corrosion was found throughout the vessel’s machinery piping systems posing a significant threat to the vessel and crew.
Coast Guard vessel inspectors are working with the Ikan Sudip’s flag state and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, the vessel’s classification society responsible for certification of the vessel’s construction and engineering, Grace Hawk Shipping, the vessel’s owner, EikoKisen, the vessel’s managing company, and the vessel’s crew to make the essential repairs.
Ikan Sudip is scheduled to load potash in Portland and will depart for Brazil after the safety violations have been corrected.