Coast Guard continues to detain vessel for failure to comply with regulations

13th Coast Guard District NewsPORTLAND, Ore. — Coast Guard Sector Columbia River continues to detain the motor vessel Excellent Pescadores for failure to comply with international and domestic regulations regarding safety, security, and environmental protection.

The 486-foot, Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier was first detained in the port of Longview on April 13, 2012, after a Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland Port State Control boarding detected a number of deficiencies including but not limited to fire and electrical hazards, problems with installment of life rafts, and verification of credentials.

“The purpose of the Coast Guard’s Port State Control program is to eliminate substandard conditions among foreign-flagged vessels operating in U.S. ports and holding them accountable to what is required within international and domestic regulations,” said Capt. Bruce Jones, Commander of Sector Columbia River, and Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

During an April 17, 2012, follow-up boarding, the crew rectified a number of discrepancies, but was unable to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations, when they failed to conduct a satisfactory abandon ship and fire drill. Failure to complete the drills was due to extensive communication/language barriers amongst key crew members. This was the crew’s third failed attempt to perform a satisfactory fire/abandon ship drill during the inspection.

“The critical nature of competent firefighting capability was demonstrated just last week, when the grain ship Navios Gemini S assisted with fighting a fire at the Port of Longview and the ship’s crew quickly and expertly helped extinguished the blaze,” said Capt. Jones. “By contrast, this ship’s crew has failed repeatedly to correct their emergency response deficiencies. The Coast Guard will not allow this ship to sail and put our river system and its crew at risk until they prove compliance with accepted international regulations.”

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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