Coast Guard detains cargo ship for safety, security, environmental violations

Coast Guard District 13 NewsORTLAND, Ore. – Coast Guard Sector Columbia River detained a foreign freight vessel for failure to comply with international and domestic regulations regarding safety, security, and environmental protection.

Early last week, while preparing to cross the Columbia River Bar, the 734-foot Egyptian cargo ship EDFU experienced a significant reduction in propulsion power. The vessel’s crew conducted an emergency anchoring operation until assist tugs could arrive on scene. Over the ensuing hours, the Coast Guard worked with the Columbia River Bar Pilots Association and local area response tugs to bring the vessel safely to berth in the Port of Astoria, Ore.

Shortly thereafter, Coast Guard inspectors from Marine Safety Unit Portland attended the ship in the Port of Astoria to investigate the loss of propulsion and ensure the vessel’s compliance with other safety and security regulations. While onboard, the inspectors discovered numerous deficiencies including cracked and deteriorated firefighting piping which prevented the ship’s crew from being able to respond to a fire aboard the ship. Furthermore, the vessel failed a critical security inspection and was not in compliance with its Security Plan. Capt. Bruce Jones, Commanding Officer of Sector Columbia River and Coast Guard Captain of the Port, issued an order detaining EDFU until all safety and security measures were corrected.

“EDFU’s failure to comply with numerous provisions of the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) Convention, the ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) Code and the ISM (International Safety Management) Code are unacceptable,” said Capt. Jones. “The economic vitality and security of our region depend upon the majority of maritime industry members who fully abide by U. S. and international safety, security and environmental standards. The Coast Guard remains committed to protecting our region by actively preventing and responding to any and all maritime threats.”

The ship has since come into full compliance with all security measures and has made substantial progress towards fully repairing the firefighting piping system and its associated components.

This case is an example of how the Coast Guard protects our nation’s maritime transportation system from substandard ships, and protects our ports and vital natural resources from accidental or intentional discharges of oil or hazardous material. The Coast Guard Captain of the Port will continue diligent oversight of all vessels subject to international and domestic laws and treaties to ensure they continue to comply with all applicable safety and security regulations in order to protect the people of our community, our environment, and our ports.

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