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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-009
Details
Synopsis: ON FEBRUARY 20, 1990, THE REFLAGGED 760-FOOT-LONG U.S. TANK SHIP SURF CITY, LOADED WITH NAPHTHA AND AUTOMOTIVE DIESEL OIL, DEPARTED KUWAIT EN ROUTE TO DISCHARGE PORTS IN SOUTHERN EUROPE. AT 1012 ON FEBRUARY 22, THE MASTER AND THE CHIEF MATE WERE STANDING AT THE NO.4 STARBOARD WATER BALLAST TANK ACCESS TRUNK WHEN AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED IN THE TANK. THE TANK AND AREA AFT TO THE DECKHOUSE ON THE STARBOARD SIDE WERE IMMEDIATELY ENGULFED IN FLAMES. THE CREW ABANDONED SHIP IN THE PORT LIFEBOAT AND WERE RESCUED BY THE U.S. NAVY GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATE USS SIMPSON (FFG-56) AT 1053. U.S. NAVAL VESSELS RECOVERED THE MASTER'S REMAINS BUT THE CHIEF MATE IS MISSING AND PRESUMED DEAD. THE FIRE BURNED FOR 2 WEEKS AND 196,985 BARRELS OF THE 606,215 BARRELS OF CARGO WERE LOST. THE VALUE OF THE LOADED CARGO WAS $12.88 MILLION AND ITS SALVED VALUE WAS $6.5 MILLION. THE VESSEL, VALUED AT $30 MILLION BEFORE THE ACCIDENT WAS SOLD IN ITS DAMAGED CONDITION FOR $4.85 MILLION. THE DAMAGE LOSS RESULTING FROM THIS ACCIDENT TOTALED $31.53 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: REQUIRE GUIDANCE FOR CREWMEMBERS TO USE BEFORE VENTILATING OR ENTERING CARGO TANKS, BALLAST TANKS, COFFERDAMS, AND VOIDS IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE CARGO BLOCK ON TANK VESSELS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Marine
Location: Other Seas and Gulfs, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA90MM019
Accident Reports:
Explosion and Fire on the U.S. Tank Ship Surf City
Report #: MAR-92-02
Accident Date: 2/22/1990
Issue Date: 4/29/1992
Date Closed: 5/24/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/24/1993
Response: THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION IS THAT THE COAST GUARD REQUIRE THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE GUIDANCE INTO ONE CONCISE, EASY-TO-READ DOCUMENT. BECAUSE SEPARATE RECOMMENDATIONS WERE ISSUED TO ISGOTT & GLENEAGLE MARINE (KUWAIT OIL TANKER COMPANY), THE SAFETY BOARD AGREES THAT IT MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE COAST GUARD TO IMPLEMENT M-92-9. THEREFORE, IT HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--RECONSIDERED."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1993
Response: I CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. HOWEVER, AS NOTED IN THE BOARD'S REPORT, BOTH THE ISGOTT AND THE KUWAIT OIL TANKER COMPANY SAFETY MANUAL ALREADY CONTAIN DETAILED INFORMATION ON VENTILATION AND SAFE ENTRY OF CARGO TANKS, BALLAST TANKS AND OTHER CONFINED SPACES. WHILE SUFFICIENT GUIDANCE ON VENTILATION AND ENTRY INTO CONFINED SPACES WAS AVAILABLE, IT WAS NOT FOLLOWED. THEREFORE, THE CG DOES NOT INTEND TO REQUIRE ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE, AND I REQUEST THAT BOARD CLOSE THIS RECOMMENDATION.