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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-010
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: AMEND TITLE 46 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS SECTION 35.30-10, "CARGO TANK HATCHES, ULLAGE HOLES, AND BUTTERWORTH PLATES," TO INCLUDE BALLAST TANKS COFFERDAMS, AND VOIDS IN ADDITION TO CARGO TANKS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
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: 3/20/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/20/1997
Response: THE BOARD AGREES THAT THE INTERNATIONAL SAFETY GUIDE FOR OIL TANKERS & TERMINALS (ISGOTTS) IS A GOOD REFERENCE SOURCE &, IF ITS RECOMMENDED PRACTICE ARE FOLLOWED, WILL HELP PREVENT ACCIDENTS. HOWEVER, THIS RECOMMENDATION SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR THE USCG TO "AMEND 46 CFR 35.30-10," NOT TO RELY ON AN INDUSTRY STANDARD, UNLESS ADHERENCE TO THIS STANDARD IS A REQUIREMENT. BECAUSE THE USCG INTENDS NO FURTHER ACTION, M-92-10 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/1996
Response: AMEND TITLE 46 CFR SECTION 35.30-10, "CARGO TANK HATCHES, ULLAGE HOLES, & BUTTERWORTH PLATES," TO INCLUDE BALLAST TANKS, COFFERDAMS, & VOIDS IN ADDITION TO CARGO TANKS.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/24/1993
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT AS PART OF THE COAST GUARD'S STUDY OF TANK VESSEL DESIGN & OPERATIONAL EQUIPMENT, THE COAST GUARD IS CONSIDERING REVISING THE REGULATION TO REQUIRE FLAME SCREENS. THEREFORE, M-92-10 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1993
Response: REVISION OF 46 CFR 35.30-10 TO REQUIRE FLAME SCREENS ON BALLAST TANKS, COFFERDAMS, AND VOIDS IN ADDITION TO CARGO TANKS WILL BE CONSIDERED DURING OUR ONGOING STUDY OF TANK VESSEL DESIGN AND OPERATIONL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS MANDATED BY OPA '90. WHEN COMPLETED, I WILL ADVISE THE BOARD OF THE RESULTS OF THIS STUDY WITH REGARD TO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FLAME SCREENS.