Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-92-019
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: DISSEMINATE TO ALL COAST GUARD MARINE SAFETY UNITS INFORMATION ABOUT THE NATURE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT SO THAT THEY CAN IDENTIFY SIMILAR SAFETY HAZARDS ON OTHER TANK VESSELS.
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 IS PLEASED THAT THE COAST GUARD HAS GIVEN EACH DISTRICT COMMANDER COPIES OF THE BOARD'S MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT & THAT THE COAST GUARD WILL DISSEMINATE THE INFO IN THE BOARD'S REPORT TO THE TANK VESSEL INDUSTRY. THEREFORE, M-92-19 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/4/1993
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE CG HAS PROVIDED EACH DISTRICT COMMANDER (M) COPIES OF THE BOARD'S MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT AND YOUR COMMENTS ON EACH RECOMMENDATION FOR FURTHER DISSEMINATION AND THAT COMMANDANT (G-MVI) WILL GIVE WIDE DISSEMINATION OF (G-MVI) INFORMATION GLEANED FROM THE BOARD'S REPORT TO THE TANK VESSEL INDUSTRY. THEREFORE, RECOMMENDATION M-92-19 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."