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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-015
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: REVISE TITLE 46 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS SECTION 32-53-5, "INERT GAS SYSTEM OPERATION." TO REQUIRE THAT BALLAST TANKS LOCATED WITHIN THE CARGO BLOCK ON TANK SHIPS BE INCLUDED IN THE INERT GAS SYSTEM.
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: IN 1993, THE USCG ADVISED THE BOARD THAT IT WAS DRAFTING REGULATIONS THAT WOULD INCORPORATE THE IMO REGULATIONS INTO 46 CFR. AS WITH RECOMMENDATION M-92-10, THE BOARD ASKED THAT THE USCG AMEND 46 CFR 32.53-5, NOT RELY ON THE IMO REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, BECAUSE THE USCG PLANS NO REGULATORY ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION, M-92-15 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/1996
Response: REVISE TITLE 46 CFR SECTION 32.53-5, "INERT GAS SYSTEM OPERATION," TO REQUIRE THAT BALLAST TANKS LOCATED WITHIN THE CARGO BLOCK ON TANK SHIPS BE INCLUDED IN THE INERT GAS SYSTEM.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/24/1993
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASE THAT THE COAST GUARD IS REVISING THE REGULATION TO REQUIRE THAT ALL DOUBLE HULL SPACES ON TANK VESSELS CONSTRUCTED AFTER SEPTEMBER 1994, BE FITTED WITH SUITABLE CONNECTIONS FOR THE SUPPLY OF INERT GAS. THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE COAST GUARD WILL KEEP THE BOARD INFORMED OF THE PROGRESS ON THIS RECOMMENDATION. IN THE INTERIM, M-92-15 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1993
Response: I CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. ON 12-11-92, THE IMO'S MSC ADOPTED AN AMENDMENT TO SOLAS TO REQUIRE THAT ALL DOUBLE HULL SPACES, IE, CARGO BLOCK SPACES INCLUDING BALLAST TANKS AND VOIDS, ON TANK VESSELS CONSTRUCTED ON OR AFTER 10-1-94, BE FITTED WITH SUITABLE CONNECTIONS FOR THE SUPPLY OF INERT GAS. COMMANDANT G-MTH WILL DRAFT APPROPRIATE REVISIONS TO 46 CFR 32.53 TO REFLECT MSC'S ACTION. I WILL KEEP THE BOARD INFORMED OF OUR PROGRESS ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.