Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-014
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: PROPOSE THAT THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION REVISE SOLAS '74, AS AMENDED TO PROHIBIT THE ROUTING OF BALLAST PIPING THROUGH THE CARGO TANKS AND CARGO PIPING THROUGH THE BALLAST TANKS ON TANK SHIPS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable 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: 5/24/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/24/1993
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE COAST GUARD HAS WORKED WITH THE IMO AND THAT ON MARCH 6, 1992, THE IMO'S MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE AMENDED REGULATION 13F OF MARPOL 73/78 TO PROHIBIT THE ROUTING OF BALLAST PIPING THROUGH CARGO TANKS & CARGO PIPING THROUGH BALLAST TANKS ON TANK VESSELS. THEREFORE, M-92-14 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1993
Response: I CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. ON 3-6-92, THE IMO'S MEPC AMENDED REGULATION 13F OF MARPOL 73/78 TO PROHIBIT THE ROUTING OF BALLAST PIPING THROUGH CARGO TANKS AND CARGO PIPING THROUGH BALLAST TANKS ON TANK VESSELS.