Coast Guard detains foreign vessel in port of Tacoma due to safety deficiencies

The motor vessel Pegasus Highway approaches the port of Tacoma, Wash., after being detained by the Captain of the Port for various safety deficiencies found during a Port State and International Ship and Port Facility Security Exam, Sept. 9, 2015. The most important deficiency and the main reason for the detainment is the deficiency involving the fire alarm detection system. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Puget Sound)

The motor vessel Pegasus Highway approaches the port of Tacoma, Wash., after being detained by the Captain of the Port. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Puget Sound)

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard detained the motor vessel Pegasus Highway in the port of Tacoma, Wednesday, due to safety deficiencies.

The vessel will be required to remain in port until the deficiencies are rectified.

A Port State Control exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound conducted a routine Port State and International Ship and Port Facility Security exam aboard the Pegasus Highway, a 590-foot, Panamanian-flagged Roll on/ Roll off vessel. While aboard, the Coast Guard discovered multiple areas that did not meet regulations set forth in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.

The most severe deficiency involved a fire detection system that was found to be inoperable. Without a properly functioning fire detection system, a fire on a deck carrying vehicles could have burned without the crew receiving an early warning.

“Through the Port State Control Program, the Coast Guard verifies that foreign vessels calling on U.S. ports meet applicable U.S. and International regulations to protect people, property, and the environment.” said Cmdr. Matt Edwards, chief of prevention at Sector Puget Sound. “We will continue to work with the vessel’s crew to ensure the deficiencies are corrected and the vessel is safe to resume trade.”

During a Port State Control exam, the Coast Guard inspects fire protection, life saving, machinery, navigation, and pollution control systems as well as assesses the crew’s ability to respond to onboard emergencies.  A vessel that is determined to be substandard is subject to a detention and must remain in port until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to persons on board or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.

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